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VHCC Grad Doug Blevins to Receive National Alumni Award
Posted Date: 12/2/2013
Doug Blevins, a 1985 graduate of Virginia Highlands Community College who has gained national recognition for coaching professional football’s premier kickers from a motorized wheelchair, has been selected to receive the 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award from the American Association of Community Colleges.

Blevins is among six community college alumni from across the nation who will receive the award in April during the AACC’s 2014 Annual Conference in Washington D.C. He was nominated by the VHCC Alumni Association Board and VHCC President Ron Proffitt.

“Doug’s impressive career and inspiring story remind us all to dream big and work hard,” Dr. Proffitt said. “We are delighted that AACC will recognize him with this prestigious award and proud that VHCC played a part in his extraordinary success.”

An Abingdon native, Blevins was born with cerebral palsy and a passion for football. He spent much of his childhood watching Monday Night Football and writing to his favorite NFL teams. When Coach Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys responded with a stack of playbooks, Blevins studied each one carefully and ultimately decided to pursue a coaching career.

His first coaching job came as a student assistant football coach at Abingdon High School and his success there later landed him successive coaching jobs at the University of Tennessee, Emory & Henry College, and East Tennessee State University.

And then he made history in 1994 when he was hired as the kicking consultant for the New York Jets, officially becoming the first handicapped coach in the NFL. He also enjoyed stints as a kicking consultant for NFL European League and the New England Patriots before beginning a six-season career as kicking coach for the Miami Dolphins in 1997. He later worked as the special teams coordinator for the Florida Bobcats and spent the 2004 season with the Minnesota Vikings.

But Blevin’s greatest coaching success has come as a result of Doug Blevins Kicking & Punting, a private consulting firm that allows him to train gifted athletes from throughout the nation. His long list of impressive clients include NFL greats Kyle Richardson, Matt Turk, Josh Miller, Chris Hanson, Darren Bennett, David Akers, Joe Nedney, Olindo Mare, Shayne Graham, Kris Brown, Aaron Elling, and Adam Vinatieri. In fact, Vinatieri spent a year in Abingdon training with Doug before he began an NFL career that has earned him four Super Bowl rings.

When not coaching professional athletes, Blevins hosts football camps and works one-on-one with middle school, high school and college players from across the country. His story has been featured in national publications including USA Today, People Magazine, and Sports Illustrated, and last year earned him a nomination to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Blevins earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Administration of Justice at VHCC before transferring to ETSU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He credits the faculty and staff at VHCC with giving him the confidence to pursue his dreams.

“I have often told people across the country that the quality education I received at VHCC was the very best of my entire college experience,” Blevins said. “I am extremely honored, as well as humbled, to receive this national alumni award from the American Association of Community Colleges. I am very flattered that Dr. Ron Proffitt and the VHCC staff thought enough of my professional accomplishments to nominate me for this very prestigious award.”