press release via USF MEDIA CONTACT:                          Vickie Chachere

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USF Renames Athletics Headquarters Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center

TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 9, 2011) – The University of South Florida Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a request from President Judy Genshaft and Director of Athletics Doug Woolard  to rename the campus’ intercollegiate athletic facility the Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center in honor of the football great.

Genshaft announced the tribute Friday during funeral services for Selmon, 56, who died Sept. 4. Selmon – a former USF Director of Athletics and President of the USF Foundation Partnership for Athletics – is credited as the father of USF football for the leading role he played in developing the program and its continuing success.

“No matter what role Lee Roy had with USF, his greatest passion was the student-athletes,” Genshaft said.

“He wanted to make sure they graduated and left with the tools necessary to be smart, successful and committed to high character. His door was always open to any student-athlete. What better way for the university to honor Lee Roy today than to name the facility that is home to our student-athletes after USF’s ‘father of football’ Lee Roy Selmon.”

Selmon joined USF in 1993as assistant athletics director to build the university's football program, leading its move into Conference USA and then into the Big East Conference. He served as USF’s Director of Athletics from 2001 to 2004.

A star for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Selmon was the first Buccaneer enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame in 1995 and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988.

“We have had more than 3,500 USF athletes, as well as thousands of coaches, staff, parents, media and visitors enter this building since its inception,” Woolard said. “Lee Roy Selmon stands for everything that we desire in our student-athletes:  integrity, academic excellence, compassion and competitiveness. Now and for perpetuity, our student-athletes will know the name on this building sets a standard for which they should constantly strive.”

The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the top tier of research universities, a distinction attained by only 2.2 percent of all universities. It is ranked 44th in total research expenditures and 34th in federal research expenditures for public universities by the National Science Foundation. The USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion, an annual economic impact of $3.7 billion, and serves 47,000 students in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland.