April 13, 2010
Contact: Tom Tozer, 615-898-2919
MTSU Coach Rick Stockstill Inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
MURFREESBORO—Rick Stockstill, head football coach at Middle Tennessee State University, rubbed shoulders with vice presidents and deans when he was recently inducted as an honorary member into Phi Kappa Phi, a prestigious academic honor society that has chapters throughout the world.
The spring ceremony took place on April 6, during which 62 MTSU students in all disciplines were inducted as lifelong members. Senior undergraduate inductees must be in the top 10 percent of their college, juniors in the top 7.5 percent and graduate students must have completed 24 hours of study and be in the top 10 percent of the graduate college. All candidates must be of sound character and exemplify service and excellence.
In introducing Stockstill, Dr. Lucy Langworthy, PKP past president, reminded the gathering that Stockstill recently turned down a head coaching job of the East Carolina Pirates along with a $700,000 pay raise.
“While his players would say there are many examples of his character, none shows this better than that decision,” Langworthy said, adding that in his four years at MTSU, Stockstill’s teams have captured a league title, won the New Orleans Bowl, played in two bowl games and produced six of the top 10 crowds in Floyd Stadium history.
“When Stockstill came to MTSU,” she continued, “the football program’s academic progress rate was 812, the lowest in the country. Today it is 990, the largest increase in the nation. For 2006-2007 and 2007-2008, his team won the Sun Belt Conference Academic Award. In the spring of 2009, 39 football players had a GPA of more than 3.0 and 12 made the dean’s list. Coach Stockstill is someone who has made a difference at MTSU.”
Stockstill told the audience that while he was never in the top 7.5 percent of any class and could in no way measure up to the academic prowess of the student inductees, he was nonetheless honored to be among their company. In his brief remarks, he shared five key words upon which he bases his personal and professional life.
Be enthusiastic, he told his listeners. “You can’t be successful without it.” He added persistence, discipline, passion and integrity. “Don’t give up and don’t make excuses. Fifty percent of people don’t care about your problems—50 percent are glad you got ‘em. … Do the right thing. What you do when no one is watching is the real test of high character. … And treat people like you want to be treated,” he concluded.
Phi Kappa Phi members include members of the United States Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners, inventors, business and industry moguls and at least one university head football coach.
Media: For a photo of Stockstill, contact email@example.com.