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Coach Nick Mourouzis Named a 'Sagamore of the Wabash'

November 17, 2003

Coach Mourouzis to Deliver Commencement Address

November 17, 2003, Greencastle, Ind. - An estimated crowd of 300 well-wishers celebrated the retirement of DePauw University Football Coach Nick Mourouzis at a reception Saturday evening following the 110th Monon Bell Classic. The reception, held at the indoor track and tennis center, featured speakers representing former players, coaching colleagues and family, and a performance by the Tiger Pep Band. A highlight of the evening was when "Coach Nick" was named a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest award that can be granted by the Governor of Indiana. Indiana State Representative Andy Thomas made the presentation as alumni, friends and family of Coach Mourouzis cheered. 

The Sagamore of the Wabash award was created during the term of Indiana Governor Ralph Gates who served from 1945 to 1949.The term "sagamore" was used by the American Indiana Tribes of the northeastern United States to describe a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice. The award is a personal tribute usually given to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor. Recipients have included astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians and ordinary citizens.

The master of ceremonies for Saturday's program was Dr. Phil Eskew, Jr. '63, president of the “D” Association, which sponsored the event. Eskew presented Mourouzis with a framed proclamation from Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, who had declared October 13, 2003, “Coach Nick Mourouzis Day,” along with a key to the city.

Speakers offering testimonials to Coach Nick at the reception included:

  • Tony de Nicola '86, former record-setting quarterback on the first team Coach Nick recruited
  • Rob Doyle ‘82 and Bob Torkelson '82, members of Coach Nick's first team, who presented him an all-expense paid vacation donated by the 1981 squad
  • George Mauro, family friend and senior associate director of athletics at Indiana University, where he and Coach Nick were former colleagues on the staff
  • John Pont, director of football operations at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio, and former head football coach at Yale University, Indiana University and Miami of Ohio, where he recruited Coach Nick to play football
  • George Mourouzis, the coach's older brother
  • Ted and Pam Mourouzis, Coach Nick's son and daughter
  • DePauw President Robert G. Bottoms, who congratulated Coach Nick on his outstanding career, and then made the surprise introduction of Representative Thomas

Coach Mourouzis then took the podium, and after introducing his wife, Marilyn, and presenting her with a bouquet of flowers (seen above) in thanks for her support through his career, expressed his appreciation to the crowd gathered in his honor. He received a standing ovation, and then posed for photos with all of his former players in attendance. The evening culminated in a rousing team rendition of the DePauw fight song.

To read a wrap-up of the 110th Monon Bell Classic and access video clips, click here. For a comprehensive story and game statistics, click here.

This year's game was nationally televised by HDNet, America's leading all high definition national television network. DePauw and Wabash alumni gathered at 47 sites around the country to watch the battle for the Bell. The photo at left shows the telecast party in Los Angeles.

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