Veteran's Day Photos, Video & Quotes of Armed Forces Merit Award

Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America - November 11 Media Conference Quotes,


Brant Ringler, Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Executive Director - “The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl likes to pride itself in being more than just a bowl game. The Armed Forces Merit Award is just a great extension of our bowl game, and we couldn’t think of a better, more qualified candidate than Brandon McCoy, who is receiving this award this year.  What he has overcome since before 2003 is simply phenomenal. The obstacles that he went through to get to where he is today, he should be very proud of himself.  We have a saying at our office, and that is salute, honor and celebrate. Brandon, we salute you for your service to our country, we honor you for the commitment that you have to this team here and to your family and we are going to celebrate this award together.  On behalf of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and the FWAA, we give you this award, thank you very much.”

Steve Richardson, FWAA Executive Director - “The FWAA was extremely excited when offered the opportunity about a year and one half ago to honor those in college football who have either served in the U.S. Military or have in some way been associated with this country’s armed forces. In the case of North Texas defensive end, Brandon McCoy, we have an individual who has used the army as a vehicle to broaden his horizons, bring focus to his life and successively play college football. His military service was outstanding, and he has transferred that same hard work and determination to the classroom and football field here in Denton. His senior season has been an exclamation point during which he has been second among defensive lineman in tackles and first in quarterback hurries for the bowl-bound Mean Green."

Dan McCarney, North Texas head football coach - “It is only fitting on Veteran’s Day that we get to honor “Sarge” McCoy, and it is funny  because, as he knows, I have never called him Brandon one day in my life. I just haven’t, he is “Sarge,” and it goes right back to his roots. This is a pretty special young man and not just because he got four sacks in our victory. He went from walk-on to captain. You talk about a guy that will impose his will to win on those around him, and it all goes back to his background, his family, his dedication to country. How fitting is this for “Sarge” McCoy? He’s an amazing teammate, husband, dad, brother, son, friend, mentor, and the neat thing about it is that for many years to come, we are going to be talking about “Sarge” McCoy at North Texas. Not just because he’s a tough guy and will go play the run, pass rush and go try and get that quarterback, it is because of how much he’s meant to all of us in this program. Here is a young man that has done so much in this program. I am not easy to work for, I am not easy to play for, I demand a lot and my expectations are really high, and here is a young man that never ever flinched and never said no. Whatever I said to this team, whether he agreed or disagreed with it, whether he liked or disliked it, he was all in as was during his time serving our country. He has been all in since we got here and took over this program and made it one of the real turnarounds in all of college football. If we keep going and having success in the weeks ahead, this will be one of the real great stories in football in 2013. I think it goes right back to his roots and what “Sarge” McCoy brought from the army as he served our country. All of us in the program here at North Texas are better people because of having “Sarge” McCoy with us.”

Brandon “Sarge” McCoy - “I am totally humbled in getting this award. One thing I have to say is that the main thing that is changing my life, making me become a better person, is God and God only. It is as simple as that.  I was a selfish person, and I had to take a really good look into myself and ask ‘why are you this person?’ And the only thing that saved me was God. He gets all the honor and all the credit and all the glory as I strive for him. He has really made me become a better person. I’m not perfect, my past shows that I’m not perfect, but I always try to be a better person. If I make a mistake, I will admit my mistakes and I will always try to move forward so I thank you all for noticing what I have done and I am honored by it. I was the ugly duckling of the family, I mean I am just totally thankful of you all (his parents) for not giving up on me. I always had parents that were loving and caring, parents that prayed for me and were always positive toward me. I always said I would make you proud, and today is the day that I make you all proud. I have to give the U.S. Army a lot of props. They helped change a boy into a man. They helped me realize that everything will not go my way. That you always need someone else, so give yourself to others, because others will then give themselves back to you. They really just implanted in me that you die for your brother next to you. Always die for your brother next to you. The military has really given me a lot of heart, toughness and grit. We had a commander that didn’t take no for an answer. If there was a mission that had to be done, it got done. No matter how long it was, no matter how many days it took, no matter the casualties, no matter what. My commander was a tough guy, and he implanted that toughness in me. So I give him this award today, also.  I’d like to give props to Coach “Mac” and the coaching staff. These guys are amazing. They always ask for you to give them your best. And if you give them something less, they are not going to accept it. They want your best because they know the potential that these players have. He came in here and has totally changed the mindset of these guys. It is almost like they are going through an army-like change. Coach’s leadership is so close to the military the way he goes about getting stuff done and his strictness. It’s amazing when he gets up and speaks how guys just break down and listen to him. He is a winner just because of who he is, and I would follow him into battle any day. I want to thank captains Zach Orr, Mason Y’Barbo, Brandin Byrd and Marcus Trice. These are some great guys to lead. Their leadership is amazing. What we are doing here with the Mean Green is something that Rick V. has been talking about ever since I got here. Nobody believed in it, they always laughed at us. Well, we are here now. We are in the race. I am totally humbled by where we are, where we have been and where we are going. I’d like to thank you all for this award, go Mean Green.”