Assistant Sports Editor
Springfield College football coach Mike DeLong will be the 2012 recipient of the Henry A. Butova Award. The Western Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame gives out the award annually to a member of the western Mass. football community that has distinguished himself in later life.
DeLong has been at Springfield for 28 seasons, amassing an impressive record of 177-122-2 and a .588 winning percentage. The 177 wins make him the active leader in wins among Division III coaches in New England and one of the top 10 nationally.
A 1974 graduate of SC, DeLong spent two years as head coach at Maine Maritime Academy before returning to Alden Street in 1984.
The award was accepted on his behalf by assistant coach Jack Holik due to DeLong not being able to attend. That, however, does not diminish the honor.
“The award is a great honor because it is voted on by the committee and by a bunch of guys who really know football in western Mass.,” said Delong. “Also, to be given an award in the name of Henry Butova means a great deal because he was such a respected sportsman, three-sport coach and athletic director at AIC. So to be one of the recipients means a great deal.”
Since part of the criteria is that the award goes to someone who has distinguished themselves later in life, the award was a bit of a realization for DeLong.
“I’ve been coming to the banquets for 30 years and it always seemed like the old guys were getting the award,” joked DeLong. “But I guess now I’m getting up there.”
Jimmy Kelley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org