Purdue University Calumet longtime athletic administrator John Friend will be honored with the Legends Award at this year’s National Football Foundation’s Joe Tiller Chapter of Northwest Indiana Honors Dinner June 10.
The event, held at the Purdue University Memorial Union in West Lafayette, Ind., presents several awards to outstanding individuals from the region for their accomplishments, in addition to high school student-athletes, as well as coordinating with the Indiana Football Coaches Association to induct three icons into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.
Friend spent 21 years as the athletic director at Purdue Calumet, before stepping into his current Athletics Consultant role in 2007. During his time at Purdue Calumet, he also served in a number of other leadership capacities in athletic administration. The longtime administrator played an instrumental role in the formation and tradition of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, while also serving on the NAIA’s District 21 executive committee for 13 years.
His efforts in athletics did not go unnoticed, as he is also a member of the CCAC, Purdue University Calumet, Indiana Football, National College Football and American Football Coaches Hall of Fames. He received the prestigious District 21 Administrator of the Year honor in 1994, in addition to Purdue Calumet’s Administrator of the Year award along with its prestigious Bob Hayes Award for Service to athletics.
In 2011, Friend became the first individual in school history to be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame, the highest honor the organization bestows.
The NFF Joe Tiller Chapter of Northwest Indiana is one of 120 nation-wide and is now the largest in Indiana and seventh largest in the country. 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.
In addition to Friend’s award, the Honors Dinner will announce the Scholar-Athlete of the Year and celebrate the return of Purdue emeritus head coach Joe Tiller. Former Purdue football players Kyle Orton and Otis Armstrong will also be honored in addition to high school coaching veterans Tom Kelly (Clinton Central and Rochester) and Mark Miller (Rochester).