2023 Speaker Line Up
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August 22, 2023 with FSU Head Coach Mike Norvell
Mike Norvell is entering his fourth season as the head coach at Florida State University. Prior to becoming the head coach at FSU, he built his reputation as one of the top rising coaches in college football. Coach Norvell began his coaching career as a graduate assistant in 2006 at his alma mater the University of Central Arkansas, where he had played as a wide receiver from 2001 – 2005. From 2006 to 2011 he coached at Central Arkansas, the University of Tulsa, and the University of Pittsburg, before becoming the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Arizona University from 2012 through 2015. In 2016 he brough his up-temp, pass-oriented spread offense to the University of Memphis for his first head coach position. In 2017 the Memphis Tigers were ranked in the top 25, finished with a 10-3 record, and defeated two ranked opponents for the first time in the school’s history. The team played in the American Athletic Conference Football Championship game as well as the Liberty Bowl. In 2018, Coach Norvell led the Tigers once again to the American Athletic Conference Football Championship game. The 2019 season was one of the best seasons in the school’s history as the team went 11-1 and won the American Athletic Conference Football Championship. Since they were the highest ranked group of 5 team in the final College Football Playoff Poll, they were awarded a New year’s bowl berth to the Cotton Bowl.
On December 8, 2019, FSU formally announced Coach Mike Norvell as the new head football coach of the Seminoles. In 2022, he led the Seminoles to a 10-3 record and beat Oklahoma in the Cheez-It Bowl and finished the season with a top 10 ranking. As the 2023 football season approaches, Coach Norvell is preparing the Seminoles for an amazing season with the kickoff game against LSU in Orlando.
September 5, 2023 - Danny Kanell
Daniel (Danny) Kanell, born November 21, 1973, attended Florida State University where he played quarterback for four years. In his freshman and sophomore years (1992 and 1993) he was the backup quarterback behind Charlie Ward. When Charlie Ward was held out in the game against Maryland due to bruised ribs in 1993, Danny Kanell started as the quarterback and completed 28 of 38 passes for 341 yards, 5 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Overall that year, he threw for 499 yards with 7 touchdowns and no interceptions. In his junior year, he threw for 2,781 yards with 17 touchdowns. He was a part of the famous “Choke at Doak” game against the University of Florida where he led the Seminoles back from a 31-3 fourth quarter deficit to tie the game. He then led Florida State University to a win over Florida in the rematch at the Sugar Bowl dubbed the “Fifth Quarter in the French Quarter,” finishing the year with a 10-1-1 record. In his senior year (1995), he threw for 2,957 yards with 32 touchdowns and led the Seminoles to a 10-2 record. He was Honorable Mention in the All-American list that year. A 1996 graduate of Florida State, Kanell was selected as the 1995 ACC Player of the Year and the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete. He is a member of the 2008 ACC Football Championship Legends Class and in 2012 Danny Kanell was inducted into the Florida State Athletic Hall of Fame.
Danny Kanell was drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round of the 1996 NFL Draft. In his second season in New York, he became the starting quarterback and played the last 10 games of the 1997 season, leading the Giants to the NFC Eastern Division title. The following season he started all 10 of the games he played while throwing for 1,303 yards and 11 touchdowns. The next year he signed with the Atlanta Falcons where over the next two seasons he passed for over 1,117 yards and 6 touchdowns. Danny Kanell signed with the New York Dragons in the Arena Football League for the 2002 season, but then the following year he returned to the NFL by signing with the Denver Broncos where he played for the next two seasons.
An interesting note many people may not know is that Danny Kanell was drafted out of high school by the major league baseball team the Milwaukee Brewers, and after his junior year at FSU he was drafted by the New York Yankees; however, he decided to pursue his football career.
Over the past several years, Danny Kanell had been a sports analyst on ESPN covering college football and college baseball. He joined Fox Sports 1 as a college football analyst and became co-host of the weekday ESPN Radio program Russillo & Kanell.
September 26, 2023 - Dusty Dvoracek
Dusty Dvoracek is a college football analyst on ESPN and ABC Saturday games, working alongside play-by-play commentator Dave Pasch and reporter Tom Luginbill. His prior assignment included ESPN Friday Night Primetime Series and ESPNU college football games on Saturdays in his earlier seasons with the network. In addition to his duties with ESPN, he is the co-host of ‘Dusty and Danny’ on Sirius XM Ch 84 and the sports radio host of ‘Monsters of the Mid-Day’ on 98.1FM in Oklahoma City.
Dvoracek played for the Oklahoma Sooners from 2001 – 2005, where he was a two-time captain and two-time Big 12 champion. During his time at Oklahoma, he earned the Jay Myers Award (Outstanding Freshman Student Athlete), the Sooner Schooner Scholastic Award (Outstanding Student Athlete), and was named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team and the All Big 12 and AP All American teams.
In 2006, Dvoracek was drafted 73rd overall in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, and played with the team for four years.
Prior to joining ESPN, Dvoracek was a college football analyst for Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Oklahoma.
October 3, 2023 - EJ Manuel
EJ Manuel is one of the most productive quarterbacks in Florida State University Football history. He led the Seminoles to a 25-6 record as a starter during the 2009-2012 seasons, and he has the fourth-most wins in program history. The Virginia Beach, Virginia, native also helped Florida State to notable victories including the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl, 2012 Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, and the 2009 Gator Bowl – the final game of legendary coach Bobby Bowden’s career. He is the second quarterback in FBS history to win four straight bowl games. He also went 15-3 in his career against ACC opponents. EJ Manuel is FSU’s all-time leader in completion percentage, tied for third in ACC history, and ranks among the top five Seminole quarterbacks all-time for passing yards, total offense, completions and attempts. He earned second team All-ACC honors for the 2012 season, and was named the 2013 Senior Bowl MVP.
Following his career at FSU, Manuel was a first-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 2013 NFL Draft. He started in 10 games his rookie season throwing for 1,972 yards and 11 touchdowns. Manuel spent five seasons in the NFL playing four seasons with Buffalo before his final season with Oakland.
EJ Manuel joined the ACC Network in 2019 and is a studio analyst on The Huddle, ACCN’s signature football show that airs Saturday mornings throughout the fall. He also co-hosts ACCN’s In Play with Kelsey Riggs, and is a regular each week on ESPN’s College Football Live. Along with is his ESPN duties, Manuel co-hosts College Sports Today on SiriusXM with Brock Huard.
October 17, 2023 - Walt Coleman
Walt Coleman is a former American football official who officiated in the National Football League from 1989 through 2018. Known for wearing uniform number 65, Coleman was the NFL’s longest tenured referee.
Coleman worked for the Arkansas Activities Association, the governing body for high school athletics in the state, for 14 years before moving up to the college level. At the college level, Coleman’s career included five years with the Southland Conference (Division I-AA) and five years with the Southwest Conference (Division I-A).
Coleman’s career in the NFL began as a line judge for six seasons before being promoted to referee starting in 1995. In a notable game, Coleman made an instant replay call on January 19, 2002, in a game that led to its moniker as the "Tuck Rule Game." With 1:47 left, Oakland Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson knocked the ball from New England Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady. It was recovered by Oakland linebacker Greg Biekert. The play was originally called a fumble. Coleman reviewed the play and overturned the fumble call to an incomplete pass using the tuck rule, which says that "any intentional forward movement of [the thrower's] arm starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body." The call was a big factor in helping launch the Patriots dynasty, as they would go on to win Super Bowl XXXVI during the same postseason. In March 2013, league owners voted 29–1, with Patriots owner Robert Kraft abstaining, to abolish the rule.
Throughout his NFL career, Coleman worked two conference championship games, and was the alternate referee for Super Bowls XXXIV, XLII, and LI. His final NFL game was the 2019 Pro Bowl.
November 7, 2023 - Houston Nutt
Houston Nutt was born and raised in Arkansas where he graduated from Little Rock Central High School. He played quarterback for the University of Arkansas for two years and then transferred to Oklahoma State University for his last two college years. After graduation he became graduate assistant coach at Oklahoma State under head coach Jimmy Johnson and later he was a graduate assistant coach at the University of Arkansas under head coach Lou Holtz. He received his first head coach in 1993 at Murray State University where in his third season the team had an 11-2 record and he was named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year. The next season the team went 11-2 and he again earned coach of the year honors. Coach Nutt was then the head coach of Boise State University before being named the head coach of the University of Arkansas in 1997.
In his first year as head coach at Arkansas, Coach Nutt invigorated the Razorback fan base with his enthusiasm and high energy. Coach Nutt’s teams were noted for a series of overtime games including the tow longest overtime games in NCAA history. In his first six seasons he led the Razorbacks to a bowl game each year. In 1999, the Razorbacks defeated nationally ranked Tennessee and Mississippi State to earn a bid to play in the Cotton Bowl where they defeated Texas, becoming the first team to ever hold Texas to negative rushing yards in a game. In 2001 and 2006 Coach Nutt was named SEC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press and by the SEC Coaches. Coach Nutt left the University of Arkansas with a 75-48 record, which is the second on the school’s all-time win list.
At the end of 2007 Houston Nutt was named the head coach of Ole Miss. In his first season they defeated the eventual national champion, Florida Gators, whose quarterback at the time was Tim Tebow. At the end of the season, the Ole Miss Rebels won the Cotton Bowl and earned a top 20 ranking. After recruiting 37 players in 2010, the SEC enacted what came to be known as the Houston Nutt Rule which stated that SEC teams would be limited to signing 28 football recruits with a maximum of 25 allowed to enroll in the fall. The 2011 season was Coach Nut’s last season with Ole Miss. He currently works for CBS Sports as a college football studio analyst.
November 21, 2023 - Lou Holtz
Lou Holtz was born in West Virginia and grew up in East Liverpool, Ohio. He attended Kent State University where he played college football as an undersized linebacker. Lou also trained in the Reserve Officers Training Corps and earned a commission as a Field Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army Reserves at the time of his college graduation. He began his coaching career as an assistant at Iowa (1960), then William & Mary (1961-63), Connecticut (1964-65), South Carolina (1966-67), and Ohio State (1968) when the buckeyes won the National Championship with Lou as an assistant coach Lou had his first head coaching job in 1969 at College of William & Mary, then he was the head coach at North Carlina State (1972-75) where he had a record of 33-12-3 including an ACC Championship in 1973 and a final top 10 ranking in1974. In 1976 Lou Holtz was named the head coach of the New York Jets. The following year Coach Holtz was named the head coach of Arkansas and in his first season he led the Razorbacks to the 1978 Orange Bol against Oklahoma. The Sooners were in a position to win their 3rd national championship in four years, but Coach Holtz led Arkansas to a 31-6 victory. In his seven seasons, he compiled a record of 31-6.
In 1986 Lou Holtz was named the head coach at the University of Notre Dame. In his first year Coach Holtz had the names removed from the back of the players’ jerseys to emphasize they were not individuals but a team. Except for a few bowl games, player names have not been on Notre Dame team jerseys. In his third year, Coach Holtz led the Fighting Irish to on undefeated season and the National Championship.
After 2 years as a commentator for CBS Sports, Coach Holtz came out of retirement to become the head coach at the University of South Carolina. The year before his arrival, the Gamecocks went 1-10. In his 2nd and 3rd seasons he led South Carolina to winning seasons and back-to-back victories in the Outback Bowl over Ohio State. The turnaround was the third best season turnaround in NCAA history. Among his many many many honors, in 2008 Coach Holtz was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Following his final retirement from coaching, Holtz served as an analyst for ESPN from 2005 through 2015.
TQC Jamboree Awards Night December 5, 2023 - Joe Tessitore
Joe Tessitore is a play-by-play commentator for ABC and ESPN. He has been among the premier broadcasters for ABC and ESPN’s coverage of college football, as well as the voice of Monday Night Football and veteran blow-by-blow ringside commentator for Top Rank Boxing on ESPN over past two decades.
Recognized as one of the top game-callers in sports, Tessitore has been widely praised for his versatility, his distinctive voice, and for the joyous enthusiasm in his calls. In 2020, he returned to his true passion, college football, working alongside analyst Greg McElroy on top weekly games for BC and ESPN. Joe has been a constant presence on the company’s college football coverage. Best known for calling ESPN Saturday Night primetime and select ABC regular-season games.
Tessitore has also long been ESPN’s Heisman Trophy expert, serving as the face of Heismanology segments throughout the fall on multiple platforms and contributing to ESPN’s presentation of the prestigious award in Times Square. He also expanded his play by play expertise to include boxing, basketball, and horse racing.
Tessitore has achieved numerous honors and awards. In 2010, he received an Eclipse Award from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) for the 2009 Belmont Stakes telecast on ABC and the 2010 Breeders’ Cup. That same year, the Boxing Writers of America presented Joe with the prestigious Sam Taub Award for Broadcast Excellence. He was also a 2010 inductee in the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame.
Tessitore is a 1993 graduate of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. His son, John, is currently a top placekicker for the Philadelphia Eagles. Joe serves on the Board of Regents at Boston College, as well as the Advisory Committee on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He has long been a supporter of the National Italian-American Foundation, as well as having tirelessly given his time to the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.