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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – Marc Hudak has been around the game of football his whole life.
Hudak, a 1990 graduate of Ithaca College, earned induction into Ithaca College’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013 following a decorated career for the Bombers that saw his teams go 31-5 with an NCAA Division III national championship during the 1988 season.
Hudak, whose solid play anchoring the Bombers’ offensive line earned him four All-American honors during his career, remained committed to the game of football after graduation.
Serving as a founding board member of the Western New York Chapter of the National Football Foundation (N.F.F.), and as president of the New York City Chapter from 2012-14, Hudak and his organization have handed out hundreds of scholarships to elite high school football players in and around the boroughs of New York City.
Hudak, who currently serves as the East Region chapter chairman of the NFF, was honored by the foundation with the Chapter Leadership Award, an honor that recognizes individuals for their commitment, generosity and leadership at the local level in fulfilling the NFF’s mission of developing leaders through football.
Five individuals, including Hudak, were honored during the NFF’s Chapter Awards Luncheon on Tuesday Dec. 8 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Dick Vermeil, the former head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, and Kansas City Chiefs, emceed the event.
Hudak received the award in front of his family, his former teammates, and members of the Ithaca College athletics administration, including Mike Welch ’73, the current head football coach, and Susan Bassett ’79, current director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation sports.
“I am both humbled and honored to receive this award – it means a lot to me,” said Hudak, who has played, coached, and dedicated his life to giving back to youths in football for 30 years.
“I am forever grateful to IC and the great experience I had playing for a legendary coach (Jim Butterfield), a special group of assistants (including current head coach Mike Welch), and of course my teammates. That experience is the driving force for my involvement in the National Football Foundation.”
In his role as chairman, Hudak and his chapter are responsible for selecting an elite 11 all-star team of high school football standouts from the five boroughs of New York City. Each honoree receives a partial college scholarship.
Additionally, Hudak‘s chapter honors an outstanding Coach of the Year and a Contributor of the Year who have made significant contributions to the game of football.
All of Hudak‘s efforts to advance the game of football have been done to give back to a game that has provided him with a lifetime of special moments.
Following his graduation from IC, Hudak was a graduate assistant for both Ithaca and Cornell, helping the Big Red to an Ivy League title in 1990. Hudak was a graduate assistant at Syracuse University from 1991-93 while earning his master’s in educational administration. He helped the Orange to victories in the 1991 Hall of Fame Bowl and the 1993 Fiesta Bowl.
Hudak also spent two years as the offensive line coach at Pittsburgh from 1993-94, where he coached 2015 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Ruben Brown.
His coaching career also featured stops at Canisius High School and Canisius College outside of Buffalo.
“The game of football has provided me a lifetime of great memories, meaningful relationships and significant educational and professional opportunities,” said Hudak, who serves as president of the Ithaca College Alumni Association and holds a seat on the Athletics Advisory Council.
“I hope that others will be able to enjoy the game of football and benefit in a similar manner.”
Hudak currently works as managing director of the Whitmore Group, an insurance company in Garden City, N.Y.
The Chapter Leadership Award recipients have spearheaded the efforts of their respective chapters: securing funds for scholarships; selecting the honorees; and staging events to help benefit the young people who play football. Their efforts ensure that future generations of players are inspired to achieve on and off the field. Five student-athletes, selected from the more than 500,000 covered by the NFF Chapter Network, are also honored as the NFF’s National High School Scholar-Athlete Class at the luncheon.
“Each of these individuals has embraced the mission of the NFF and is promoting the good in the game, benefiting our nation’s youth,” said NFF President and CEO Steven J. Hatchell. “Their dedication and passion creates a powerful presence for the NFF in their communities, making an impact and inspiring excellence on and off the field. We are excited to honor their commitment and love for the game.”
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