Former Chadron State and NFL running back Danny Woodhead qualifies for U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship

Former Chadron State and NFL running back Danny Woodhead qualifies for U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship

This article originally published on Pro Football Talk

Former NFL running back Danny Woodhead qualified for the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship set to be held at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.

Woodhead and partner Michael Wilhelm combined to shoot a 2-under par 69 at Firethorn Golf Club in Omaha, Neb. on Monday to make it into a three-way playoff for the second qualifying spot. A birdie in extra holes gave Woodhead and Wilhelm the invitation to the championship.

“I can’t wait,” Woodhead said in an interview with Nebraska Golf Association. “I like to play really good courses and obviously that being where (Jordan) Spieth ended up winning a major, it’s a pretty cool deal. This ranks up there with athletic achievements.”

The four-ball championship is a relatively new addition to the USGA’s championship slate. The championship was first held in 2015 and is a two-man, better-ball format. It’s composed of 128 teams of two that play 36 holes of stroke play before the top 32 teams move to match play.

Former Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams qualified for the 2019 event held at Bandon Dunes in Oregon. He and partner Greg Berthelot made the round of 16 before being eliminated. The 2020 championship was cancelled due to COVID-19 considerations.

Chambers Bay was the site of the 2015 U.S. Open and will partner with The Home Course in Dupont, Wash. for the stroke play portion of the tournament.

Woodhead spent 10 years in the NFL after a standout college career at Division II Chadron State where he won the Harlon Hill trophy twice, which is the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy for the D-II level. After being signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent, Woodhead also played for the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens.

Woodhead rushed for 2,238 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career and caught 300 passes for 2,698 yards and 17 touchdowns.

NGF Supporter Spotlight: Bruce Weber

NGF Supporter Spotlight: Bruce Weber

Nebraska Greats Foundation Supporter Spotlight: Bruce Weber

Bruce Weber of Atlanta, GA, founder of American Home Surfaces, one of the largest flooring companies in the country was one of the first supporters of the Nebraska Greats Foundation. A former letter winner and key offensive lineman, he has two rings from NU’s first national title teams. In 2019, the NGF made Bruce the first ever recipient of the “Andra Franklin Service Award.”

Bruce, what kind of a football player were you?

Both 1970 & 1971 National Champions teams… Specialty Teams, Smaller Size (5’11/225lb), Fastest Offensive Pulling Guard, Smart, Swift, Quality Depth, 5-year Red-Shirt, Chicago Proud, Out-Of-State, Business College Graduate.

How do you think your teammates from those days would have described you?

High Spirited, Hard Practices, Trusted, Always lots of Laughs.

Who was the most UNDER-rated player you faced?

Our own now deceased too young but loved by all Eddie Periard, a walk-on defensive Nose Guard, All Big Eight. Beloved by all!!! Eddie was the only one smaller than me, but a heart 20ft. tall. He’d made me chase his back shadow many, many times.

One-time Coach Devaney was so upset with me during a team scrimmage he kicked me out of the whole stadium!! Eddie was a real star…under estimated by every opponent week after week!!!

What lured you to the University of Nebraska?

I came to Lincoln as a senior in high school on the weekend they were to play Oklahoma State. Had me right on the sidelines with the team so I was really close to the action. I had never seen hitting like that going on all over the field. I could just sense something good was going to happen at Nebraska. That night after dinner with the coaches at the Veterans Club they set me up with Barry Alvarez and Wayne Mehlan to take me around that evening to see and enjoy the college party life!

What are some of your fondest memories from your playing days?

Senior Parent Day: Announced and met both of my Parents out on the 50-yard line— big, big hugs.

Graduation: I graduated in mid-year, 2-weeks before leaving for Miami and the Orange Bowl.
But I kept it a secret because I was afraid, I wouldn’t be eligible to play in the Alabama Orange Bowl Game.
We finished practice in Miami and I was sitting in the back of the bus going back to the hotel.
A few of the guys walked on the bus with a Miami newspaper shouting out the headlines “Nebraska to field a college graduate” I was shaken. Then, the guys came back to me and instead of congratulating me- they just wanted to know what classes and professors I had!

1970 Nebraska vs So. Cal @ USC: Last play of the game I missed my block and forced Jerry Tagge to throw the ball 2-seconds quicker than he wanted to and the ball came up 5-10 yards short of a wide-open Johnny Rogers in the end zone. I lost my starting job forever.

Orange Bowl vs Alabama: All of the Seniors were going to be introduced on National TV. When it was time to go out I just froze in the locker room. Suddenly, it hit me this was going to be my last time in a football uniform and I had missed the TV introduction. Finally, someone behind me said “come on Webb- we need to get out there.” 40-years later I found out that voice was Monty Johnson. His superstition was that he always had to be the last one out on the field!

“Game of The Century Nebraska vs Oklahoma”: As was our tradition we would always return to our locker room after warm-ups and say a prayer down on a knee then jump up with a loud cheer.  Back then, the Coaches didn’t have computers or I-Pads. Many many pages of notes were stacked up on clip boards. Unknowing to me, Coach Devaney was standing directly over my helmet.
When I jumped up with everyone else my helmet hit his clip board throwing all of his plays and notes in the air and all over the room 2-minutes before kick-off of the Game of The Century! He yelled out “Weebbbbeerrr!” Thank God we won the game.

Post Orange Bowl: The next night celebration at a posh, very private Miami Country Club and there was an open beer bar for players. We handed the beers through the hedges to Alabama players because “The Bear” (Alabama coach Paul Bryant) wouldn’t let his players partake.

Talk about the highlights of your life after your playing days ended?

Married my beautiful Chicago Italian wife who sat behind me in 8th grade. Her mother never forgave me when Kathi had to give up her beautiful Italian last name “Colianni” for “Weber.”

Births of our 3- Children – Lisa (45) Denver, Co., Jeff (43) Cincinnati, Oh., Joseph Weber (40) So. California. And now 2 Granddaughters Maddie (8) and Christina (1).

Blessed all of my Family lives in Atlanta area.

You’ve built a successful business, what are your core philosophies?

• Love the Industry you’re in
• Never stop reading and finding new ideas
• Don’t be afraid to take meaningful chances and opportunities
• Choose your closest friends carefully
• Know where the curve is and try to stay ahead
• Always try to improve your Patience
• Build Championship “game plans” yearly
• Always Look for ways to help others less fortunate
• Get rid of debt as early as possible in your life
• Stay close to God. Pray everyday
• When the time is right; step-up and diversify
• Surround yourself with good people
• Get a goodnight sleep every night
• Stay in good shape physically
• Eat healthy!

You’ve been one of the founding supporters of the NGF, what attracted you to the Foundation?

I would rather help fellow Nebraska former athletes in need than send anymore large tax payments to the federal government! (Ha)

What would you say to former players who may benefit from a grant from the NGF, but who are reluctant to ask for help?

There is nothing more humbling than knowing you need help and have nowhere to go. Don’t be afraid to ask. Understand that’s why we are here!

Catching Up with NGF Recipient Jim Unger

Catching Up with NGF Recipient Jim Unger

Jim Unger

Former UNL Varsity and All American Gymnast Jim Unger was one of the NGF’s first recipients. Jim was injured in a freak bicycle accident and is confined to a wheel chair which was provided by the generous supporters of the NGF.

Today, he leads an active lifestyle and is an outspoken supporter of what the Nebraska Greats Foundation can do to assist those in need.

Many who follow the Nebraska Greats Foundation know of how the NGF assisted you after your accident. Update us on how you are doing and what you are doing?

I am doing great–many Healthcare workers, and others think that I am a paraplegic rather than a quadriplegic. After going through somewhat tedious training, testing, and red tape, I am now able to drive! This has freed up a lot of opportunities to get things done.

You competed for the University of Nebraska Gymnastics team when the sport was starting to boom internationally. Did you ever think it would become THAT big?

When I competed at Nebraska, there were 216 schools with gymnastics. Now that Iowa dropped its program last week, sadly there are only 14 left. Obviously the budget is the main reason, along with Title IX. However, since gymnastics is an Olympic sport, we hope that it will be retained by those remaining schools.

Over the last 40 years, Nebraska has dominated men’s gymnastics why is that?

Gymnastics exploded in the 70’s due to more coverage, equipment advances, and Kurt Thomas and Bart Conner winning internationally. Of all the advances in equipment, the most exponential were the spring tumbling floor, and the in-ground foam pits. Nebraska was the first college to install a pit, in the Devaney Sports Center. The pits allow learning of double somersaults until the athlete has mastered the skill, before performing it on a mat landing.

Did you know that on the 1984 men’s team, Olympic gold medalists, 4 out of the 7 competitors were from Nebraska: Jim Hartung, Phil Cahoy, Scott Johnson, and alternate Jim Mikus. The 1980 team that “didn’t go” had Coach Francis Allen, Jim Hartung, Phil Cahoy, and Larry Gerard all from Nebraska.

Talk about how the NGF helped you.

I was one of the first to be helped. In my case, they generously provided me with physical therapy equipment and a motorized chair…which has been beneficial for my circulation and muscle tone, as well as keeping my hopes alive for medical advances to walk again (and play golf!).

A lot of athletes are reluctant to ask for help. There are many out there who probably need assistance with the medical issues, what would you say to them?

I would encourage other athletes in need to be sure to ask the Nebraska Greats Foundation for help! We all go through tough times in life, and whether yours is financial, medical, or other, please reach out.

You competed when most young boys were playing football, basketball and baseball. What got you started in gymnastics?

I tried out for all sports, and did pretty well. When we had to hop up on the pommel horse and do leg cuts, or walk on our hands on the parallel bars, Coach Fox (Jr. High PE teacher) liked the way I could keep my legs straight, and point my toes. That was how I started in gymnastics, just during the season.

Our high school teams won 2 state championship, and were recently inducted into the Lincoln Southeast HS Hall of Fame. But, it wasn’t until college that I trained gymnastics year-round.

I feel very fortunate that I ended up getting a full athletic scholarship to pay for college. I ended up becoming Francis Allen’s first All-American; I didn’t know that I would end up teaching kids for 40 years…I feel very blessed.

Former Dana College Standout Garry Clark to join the Nebraska Greats Foundation Board of Directors

Former Dana College Standout Garry Clark to join the Nebraska Greats Foundation Board of Directors

Garry Clark, a nine time All-American in Track and Field and holder of 11 school records at Dana College in Blair, NE has been named to the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Greats Foundation.

“Garry is a rising star in Nebraska business and credits much of his success in life to his time competing for the Dana Vikings on a college Track and Field scholarship.   We are thrilled to have him serve on the Board and as an Ambassador of the NGF mission.  The fact that he is a true representative of Nebraska’s small college community is a tremendous asset.”  Says Jim Rose Executive Director of the NGF.

Clark is currently Exec Dir of the Fremont Development Council after leadership roles with NIFA and Cuming County Economic Development.  He is also a national leader in rural economic development and was awarded a “40 under 40” distinction by the Midland’s Business Journal

Clark earned a BA in Sociology from Dana and a Masters of Science Degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

Says Clark, “I feel extremely honored and humbled to have this opportunity.  As a Nebraska Collegiate Athlete, I found the opportunity to change my life in Nebraska, make life-long friends, build a family and so much more.  It’s totally appropriate to join an organization whose legacy is tied to providing for the needs of former Nebraska athletes like me.”

A past NGF recipient is the late Alan Pogue, a two-sport star at Dana in the mid 1980’s who passed away in 2016 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation provides life-saving emergency support to any former letter winner from any of the 15 Nebraska based colleges and universities who qualify financially and medically.  The NGF is a 501C-3 non profit.  All cash donations are tax deductible and can be made online at

Nebraska Greats Foundation adds former volleyball standout Mandy Monson to Board of Directors

Nebraska Greats Foundation adds former volleyball standout Mandy Monson to Board of Directors

The Nebraska Greats Foundation proudly announces the addition of former UNL volleyball standout Mandy Monson to the Board of Directors.

She was unanimously approved for a 5-year term.

A native of Wallace, Nebraska, Monson played from 1996-1999 and served as co-captain her senior year. 

Today, Monson serves as VP/Finance for resort lifestyle communities and Cameron General Contractors in Lincoln.  

Says Monson,

it is an honor to be selected to serve on the board of directors for the Nebraska Greats Foundation.  I appreciate the opportunity and I’m excited to join this fantastic organization!  

I look forward to being a part of the support system that former varsity athletes from all of the 15 four-year Nebraska-based colleges and universities can tap into.”

The Nebraska Greats Foundation (501c-3) provides lifesaving funds to former Nebraska college athletes.   Grants are available to any former letter winner from any of the 15 Nebraska four year colleges and universities who meet financial and medical needs.