Nominated by: The HearStrong Foundation
Located in Washington, D.C., Gallaudet is the country's premier university for hard-of-hearing and deaf students. World-renowned for its programs and research related to hearing loss, Gallaudet is also a hub of football history -- in 1892, the university's football team invented the modern-day huddle. In order to prevent their opposing teams from reading their sign-language, the team huddled together to communicate their next play.
The 2013 Gallaudet University football season will go down in school history as one of the most memorable in program history. The Bison excelled on the gridiron and their wins helped to turn heads and educate people about what deaf and hard-of-hearing students can accomplish.
Gallaudet started the season 9-0, the best win streak to start a season in school history, and had an 11-game winning streak—also a school record—dating back to the 2012 season. The nine wins ties a school record and the 6-1 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) mark is a new program best.
The Bison captured their first ever ECFC championship and earned the school’s first NCAA tournament berth for a men’s team sport. Along the way, the Bison became the media darlings of college football.
In a month’s span, the Bison were featured in over 50 national stories and received national media attention, treatment usually reserved for the NCAA division I elite programs.
Gallaudet was featured on ESPN, the Associated Press, the CBS Evening News, National Public Radio, USA Today, the Washington Post and all of the D.C. television stations.
Coach Chuck Goldstein and his student-athletes served as role models and an inspiration to many deaf and hard-of-hearing children and people nationwide and internationally. The team demonstrated that any goal could be attainable with hard work, teamwork, and believing in one another, even if they could not hear as well as their opponents and communicated in American Sign Language.
For Gallaudet, its magical season turned into a proud moment in deaf and hard-of-hearing sport history.
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