MACON, Ga. (Feb. 26, 2018) – Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO and President Gary Stokan on Saturday was presented with the Erk Russell Spirit Award by the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
The honor was given as part of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame’s 62nd Annual Induction Ceremony at the Historic Macon City Auditorium. College football icon Tony Barnhart served as Master of Ceremonies.
The Erk Russell Spirit Award recognizes contributions to sport that mirror the enthusiasm the legendary Russell brought to coaching football and to all life’s endeavors.
“Gary Stokan sets the standard in bringing passion and commitment to drive results in leading one of our state’s and nation’s most successful and influential college football brands,” said Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority Chair Emily Parker Myers. “He epitomizes this award and truly defines the ‘spirit’ of the Erk Russell Spirit Award.”
During his tenure with Peach Bowl, Inc., Stokan led the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl’s strategic growth and ascension to the College Football Playoff and to its position as college football’s most charitable bowl game. Stokan is credited with reshaping college football’s opening weekend with the creation of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and with having the vision and leadership to relocate the College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta. In his 20 years with the Peach Bowl, the organization has driven more than $995 million in economic impact for Atlanta and Georgia, has provided $240 million in team payouts and given an additional $22 million in charity and scholarship.
“It is very humbling to be recognized with the Erk Russell Award, as I always admired his success and passion,” Stokan said. “This award is also an honor I share with our organization. It will be a strong motivation for me to continue to live up to these standards in all that we do for our city, our state and the sport of college football.”
Other honorees at the 2018 induction event included civic leader Brad Akins, former UGA football player Champ Bailey, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, real estate developer and community planner Tom Cousins, volunteer coach Dick Frame, golf coach Chris Haack, golfer Terri Moody Hancock, football player and coach Tracy Rocker, track and field athlete Angelo Taylor and basketball player Kenny Walker.
About Peach Bowl, Inc.:
Peach Bowl, Inc. operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, one of the New Year’s Six Bowls that host College Football Playoff. In 2017, the Peach Bowl celebrated its 50th Anniversary season as the nation’s ninth-oldest bowl organization. The Bowl has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country, with 54 percent of its games being decided by a touchdown or less. Peach Bowl, Inc. has disbursed $240.5 million in team payouts and leads all other bowl game organizations in charitable and scholarship contributions, having given more than $22.2 million to organizations in need since 2002. In December the Mayor of Atlanta presented the Bowl with the Phoenix Award – its highest honor – for the Peach Bowl’s cumulative impact on the city. Peach Bowl, Inc. also runs the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament and manages The Dodd Trophy national coach of the year award. For more information, visit Chick-fil-APeachBowl.com or follow us on Twitter at @CFAPeachBowl and find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CFAPeachBowl.