Blog Post FBA

FBA Announces Second Legacy Award Class



Football Bowl Association Executive Director Wright Waters today announced the recipients of this year’s Legacy Award, awarded to “individuals with distinguished service within the Bowl industry.”  

This year’s Legacy Award will be presented when the FBA holds its annual meeting April 18-20 in San Antonio, TX.

The 2017 honorees are Bill Flinn, recently-retired executive director of the Rose Bowl Game; and longtime Liberty Bowl executive director Ambrose “Bud” Dudley.

“Bud Dudley made the Liberty Bowl what it is today,” said Waters of Dudley, who founded the game in 1959 and served as its leader through 1993.  

“Under Bill Flinn’s direction, the Rose Bowl Game maintained its great tradition and provided millions of college football fans one of its greatest games this past January when USC rallied to beat Penn State.”

Dudley began the original Liberty Bowl game in Philadelphia, but moved it to Memphis in 1965.  The ’64 game was held in Atlantic City, NJ, the first bowl game ever played indoors at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Under Dudley’s leadership, the Liberty Bowl attracted a Who’s Who of college football. Heisman Trophy winners Terry Baker, Ernie Davis, Doug Flutie and Bo Jackson played in Dudley-led Liberty Bowl games, as well as such outstanding stars as Archie Manning, Frank Beamer and Randy White. The list of legendary coaches includes Bear Bryant, Lou Holtz, Tom Osborne, John McKay, Terry Donahue and Bill Battle.

After 35 years and 35 memorable games, Dudley retired as executive director of the Liberty Bowl in 1994. Throughout his career, Dudley’s love of country was showcased during the patriotic festivities of each annual Liberty Bowl game.

In 2005, the City of Memphis honored Dudley by naming the press box at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium the Ambrose F. “Bud” Dudley Press Box. That same year, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl recognized Dudley’s lifetime of achievements with its Distinguished Citizen Award.

In 2008, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl created the Dudley Cup, a perpetual trophy which is on permanent display at Memphis International Airport.  Dudley passed away in 2008 at the age of 88.

Bill Flinn joined the Tournament of Roses Association as the Director of Public Relations and advanced through a series of increased responsibilities including Chief Operating Officer before being named Executive Director/CEO in 2011. 

As Executive Director/CEO, Flinn oversaw the strategy, operations and creative development for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association and its numerous events. He led the professional team that provides the comprehensive and technical support to the 935 volunteers of the Association as well as corporate and civic participants. He established media collaborations with national and international broadcasters including ESPN, ABC, NBC, Tribune Broadcasting, Hallmark, and HGTV. 

In collaboration with the Tournament’s volunteer leadership, he activated corporate relations and sponsorships with Honda, Northwestern Mutual, Miracle-Gro, the Walt Disney Company, and strengthened partnerships with the National Football Foundation, College Football Playoff series, and the PAC-12 and Big Ten Athletic Conferences. 

Flinn is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer at various national and international conferences on communications, public relations, marketing, special event production, strategic partnership, and non-profit organizational management. 

The Legacy Award was presented for the first time in 2016. 

Bruce Binkowski, retired executive director of the Holiday/Poinsettia Bowls; and Gary Cavalli, retired executive director of the Foster Farms Bowl, were the first to be so honored.


Doug Kelly


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