Two former SU football players, The Honorable Norman Mordue and William James Coghill, are the 2009 recipients of the prestigious Zunic Award, given each year since 2001 by the Syracuse Football Club alumni organization in recognition of an individual's courage, self-sacrifice and spirit in serving others.
The award presentation will be Sept. 4 at a dinner at Lafayette Country Club, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Bill Coghill's football career at Syracuse University was interrupted when he volunteered to go to Vietnam where he served as a medic and received two purple hearts for his valor in active duty.
Coghill first played and lettered for the Orangemen in 1967 and returned to SU after Vietnam to finish his degree and play another two seasons as a defensive standout. He graduated in 1972 with All East Honors.
Prior to SU, Coghill distinguished himself at Deerfield Academy as an All American Football Player and later received a graduate degree from the University of Denver that prepared him for his work as a field Archeologist in the western United States and South America.
Coghill also played for the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football league before entering work in the family contracting business in the Albany area. Coghill's Zunic Award is given posthumously following his death in January of this year.
The Honorable Norman Mordue, Chief U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of New York, says he was influenced to attend SU by another famed player, Ernie Davis.
Following his completion of ROTC as a Distinguished Military Graduate and Distinguished Military Student, Mordue was commissioned into the Regular Army as a second lieutenant infantryman.
While leading his platoon in the Republic of Vietnam, Mordue was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism, and the Bronze Star for "courageous leadership and tenacious devotion to duty." Additional awards and medals were given him before his medical retirement as a Captain in 1968.