WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The Pac-10 has renamed its
defensive player of the year award for Pat Tillman, a former
standout linebacker at Arizona State who was killed in action in
Afghanistan in April while serving his country as a member of
the Army Rangers.
The Pac-10 football coaches suggested renaming the award and the
change was approved by the conference's director of athletics
at league meetings last week.
Tillman himself was the recipient of the Pac-10 defensive player
of the year award following his senior year in 1997.
At the time, then Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder said of Tillman:
"Pound for pound, he is the best linebacker I've ever