Moving Service Honors Selmon
USF President Judy Genshaft announces the athletics headquarters will be renamed in Lee Roy Selmon’s honor.
From USF News
TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 9, 2011) – The University of South Florida Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a request from President Judy Genshaft and Director of Athletics Doug Woolard to rename the campus’ intercollegiate athletic facility the Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center in honor of the football great.
Genshaft announced the tribute Friday at the Idlewild Baptist Church during a memorial service for Selmon, 56, who died Sept. 4. Selmon – a former USF Director of Athletics and President of the USF Foundation Partnership for Athletics – is credited as the father of USF football for the leading role he played in developing the program and its continuing success.
“No matter what role Lee Roy had with USF, his greatest passion was the student-athletes,” Genshaft told the gathering.
“He wanted to make sure they graduated and left with the tools necessary to be smart, successful and committed to high character. His door was always open to any student-athlete. What better way for the university to honor Lee Roy today than to name the facility that is home to our student-athletes after USF’s ‘father of football’ Lee Roy Selmon.”
Selmon joined USF in 1993 as assistant athletics director to build the university's football program, leading its move into Conference USA and then into the Big East Conference. He served as USF’s Director of Athletics from 2001 to 2004.
A star for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Selmon was the first Buccaneer enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame in 1995 and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988.
“We have had more than 3,500 USF athletes, as well as thousands of coaches, staff, parents, media and visitors enter this building since its inception,” Woolard said. “Lee Roy Selmon stands for everything that we desire in our student-athletes: integrity, academic excellence, compassion and competitiveness. Now and for perpetuity, our student-athletes will know the name on this building sets a standard for which they should constantly strive.”
A second service was scheduled for Saturday in Oklahoma, at the First Southern Baptist Church, 6400 South Sooner Road, Oklahoma City, OK.
Selmon's death stunned USF and the Tampa Bay community.
"We all loved him, and we're all deeply saddened," Genshaft said earlier in the week. "We're a better university because of Lee Roy Selmon. He was an incredible role model, who cared about all of our student-athletes, no matter what sport. He built an incredible legacy and he will never be forgotten."
Woolard was selected after Selmon stepped down as AD for health reasons in 2004.
"Lee Roy set the stage for class, for academics, and for integrity," Woolard said earlier. "He was a mentor to me after I moved to Tampa, and a friend in every way."
For those wishing to honor Lee Roy’s many contributions, the family asks that donations be made to Abe Brown Ministries, http://www.abebrown.org/home.shtml, Abe Brown, 2921 North 29th Street, Tampa, FL 33605, or to the Lee Roy Selmon Fund at the University of South Florida Foundation Partnership for Athletics, http://mybullsclub.com, USF Partnership for Athletics, 4202 E Fowler Avenue, ATH 100 Tampa, FL 33620.
The Selmon Fund assists USF student-athletes in recognizing and living their potential. With career development as a centerpiece, the ultimate goal of the program is to prepare young people for successful and fulfilling lives long beyond their playing days. Academic achievement, community involvement and personal maturity are the touchstones of this program, which aims to develop USF student-athletes into well-rounded graduates who are equipped to positively impact their future and their communities. This is a cause dear to Lee Roy Selmon's heart, and one he worked actively to champion.