Craig Rutherford wins award for Humanitarian efforts

Jerry Rutherford, head football coach at Eastwood High School in Northern Ohio, shared a very proud moment with me this morning. His son Craig won the Humanitarian Award over Christmas break.

Craig is a senior long snapper on the Bowling Green State University football team, a math major who graduated in 3.5 years, who is now pursuing careers in teaching and coaching.

Rutherford wins award for Humanitarian efforts
By Sean Shapiro

BOISE — Throughout his four years at BG, Craig Rutherford has silently flown under the radar.

But, that all changed Monday evening at the US Bank Humanitarian Awards Dinner when the senior long snapper was honored for his efforts off the field and in the classroom.

The award, given to one player from each team partaking in the Humanitarian Bowl, is based on three aspects, on field performance, community involvement and academics.

“I think they were looking for someone who has done some community service in the Bowling Green area,” Rutherford said. “That’s something I’ve always tried to do. I really enjoy helping people, it’s one of the things I enjoy in life.”

To say Rutherford enjoys helping people is an understatement, as he has demonstrated himself as an asset to the community over the past four seasons.

Recently, Rutherford visited with a BG cross country runner who had suffered from heat stroke after being asked by coach Dave Clawson.
While his visit with a BG cross county runner came after a suggestion from his coach, Rutherford has also gone out of his way individually to make a difference in the community.

“I got a note last year, it was a senior citizen who was in a local home. Wanting to thank me for sending Craig Rutherford over there to visit with them, and I had no idea what they were talking about,” Clawson said.

In addition to his visits to local seniors and a fellow BG athlete, Rutherford has also been heavily involved BGSU’s Dance Marathon for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Academically Rutherford has set a strong example for the rest of his teammates as well, maintaining a 4.0 Grade Point Average while not only playing football, but also student teaching before graduating earlier this December.

“We have actually had parents of the students he is student teaching call us and asking how they can purchase tickets, because they said what Bowling Green football is about we need to go watch you guys play,” Clawson said.

Rutherford found out about the award earlier this week, after representatives from the Humanitarian Bowl interviewed his teammates about his on and off field accomplishments.

While Rutherford was the award recipient for BG, Idaho wide receiver Max Komar was also acknowledged for his efforts. Komar, a former walk-on, has not only helped the community in Idaho but has also traveled to Mississippi to help struggling families after hurricanes Katrina and Ike.

“Giving a helping hand in and around the community really impacts peoples lives in a positive way, being able to go down to Mississippi and see what those families have gone through, I learned you really can’t take things for granted in life,” Komar said.

Komar certainly hasn’t taken anything for granted, taking the most of his opportunities this season, making 62 catches for 1062 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.

While Komar and Rutherford walked away with trophies at Monday night’s award ceremony, the biggest trophy was still resting on the table, waiting to be awarded to Humanitarian Bowl Champion after Wednesday’s contest.


The University of Idaho Vandals scored a two-point conversion with four seconds remaining to beat the Bowling Green State University Falcons, 43-42, in the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl, providing the highest-scoring contest in the Bowl’s 13-year history. The game featured 990-yards of total offense with three lead-changes in the fourth quarter, providing an exciting finish for the spirited crowd of more than 26,700.

The Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl is the only bowl game in the United States that has humanity in its brand. The Bowl recognizes the positive impact teams, coaches and student-athletes have in their communities and their leadership roles in promoting humanitarian efforts.