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National Football Foundation: The Tiller Chapter

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Lets keep this great foundation going!

Champs Sports Bowl: Purdue v Maryland Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

The National Football Foundation is a Non for Profit Organization that has been around since 1947. Early on, it was lead by men such as General Douglas MacArthur, former head coach of the Army Black Knights Earl Blaik.

Their goal was to develop football at an amateur level, at state, local and national levels. They wanted to help develop leadership, sportsmanship, enthusiasm for competition and drive for academic excellence among America’s youth.

Thirteen years ago, Joe Tiller formed his own chapter in Northwest Indiana. According to the NFF Tiller Website,

“Thirteen years ago, Joe Tiller, Purdue’s head football coach at the time, presented a challenge of forming one of the largest chapters in the National Football Foundation here in Northwest Indiana. Since receiving its charter in Tippecanoe County, the Northwest Indiana Chapter (which was renamed in 2007 the Joe Tiller Chapter of Northwest Indiana) has enlisted more than 700 members, becoming the largest chapter in the state and the second largest in the nation at one point.

As a group of football-loving enthusiasts with the purpose of advancing amateur football at the local, state and national levels, the Joe Tiller Chapter of the NFF provides grassroots support in a many ways.

As a non-profit organization, this chapter has awarded more than $275,000 in grants, scholarships, honorariums and donations since receiving its charter in 2004.

Through out first 13 years as a chapter, we have honored 334 individuals for their accomplishments, including 242 scholar-athletes who have been awarded a total of more than $210,000 in scholarships and honorariums for college.

​This chapter offers scholarship opportunities for scholar athletes at 70 high schools in 17 Northwest Indiana counties (Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Fulton, Howard, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Miami, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Warren and White). Selection of the Scholar Athlete of the Year is based 40% on academic achievement, 40% football performance and attitude, and 20% leadership and citizenship. In addition to seeking donations and sponsorships to support the scholarship program, the chapter also receives money ($500 for every 50 dues-paying members in the local chapter) from the national office in Irving, Tex.

In addition to the scholarships, the local chapter has been involved with youth programs such as the Dream Season (providing experiences for kids and young adults with disabilities) and the Lafayette 56ers, Attica Youth Football, Little Gridiron, and West Side Flag Football, helping to provide opportunities for elementary school-aged players in the area. The chapter also helps to support the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.

The NFF chapter is one of 120 nation-wide. Other Indiana chapters are in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Evansville and Indianapolis. Nationally, the NFF has more than 12,000 members and awards more than $1.3 million in scholarships each year.”

As we are all aware of, Coach Tiller passed away this past October. He made an impact at Purdue that has not been felt by any other coach before or after him. His impact has not only been felt in West Lafayette, but across the state and nation. With giving student-athletes endless opportunities to better themselves, become professionals and most importantly he gave many men a chance to get a Purdue University Education and Degree.

The Tiller chapter gives a variety of scholarships to High School student-athletes in Northwest Indiana. Last year, Jack DeGroot from Winamac High School won the NFF Scholar Athlete of the year award.

If you have any interest in becoming a member, here is the link. Lets help keep Joe Tiller’s legacy going at all levels of football.