HICKORY – The annual visit former NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott makes to talk with the Lenoir-Rhyne University football team is set.
Lott — a 2000 NFL Hall of Fame inductee who played on four Super Bowl winning teams – will visit with the Bears on Thursday.
LRU (5-1, 4-0 South Atlantic Conference) is preparing for Saturday’s homecoming game at 2 p.m. against Limestone (0-6, 0-2). The Bears are in first place in the SAC.
“Ronnie Lott was a hero of mine,” LRU head coach Drew Cronic said in an LRU press release about the visit. “It’s an honor to have a guy who has won Super Bowls and is the face of physicality and toughness in football come speak to our guys.
“We can get so much wisdom for listening to him speak, and we’re appreciative to spend some time with him.”
LRU has had a Ronnie Lott Heavy Hitter award after each game since starting that in 2003. The award’s sponsor, Southside Power and Fitness, makes a contribution to Habitat For Humanity in the name of each week’s winner.
The coaching staff selects a player every week who makes an impact on the field and then challenges the student-athlete to make an impact in the community. Every year, a dinner takes place to honor all the current players who have earned the award.
The award’s name comes from Lott’s style of play in the 1980s and early 1990s. He is also a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team.
Lott is extremely active in the community. In 1989, he established a non-profit organization called All Stars Helping Kids, which supports disadvantaged youth in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the nation. To date, the organization has raised more 20 million dollars for disadvantaged youth.
Lott also inspired the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is given annually by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.