Catching up with past Touchdown Club of Washington Timmie award winners.
1994 Local College Player of the Year
After a solid career on the gridiron, Pyne now lives in Tampa and is enjoying success in the corporate world, where he is Executive Vice President of Wheels Up. His role is to grow sales in the southeast for the private aviation company. In his free time, Pyne loves spending time with his kids.
Pyne made the move to Wheels Up after being contacted by an old friend, Kenny Dichter, the company’s CEO and co-founder.
“Kenny and I always had stayed in touch," Pyne said, "And when he presented me with the opportunity to come to Wheels Up I made the move.”
Wheels Up is a subscription service that allows clients to have their own private plane without the burden of staffing and maintenance.
Previously, Pyne worked for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the team’s Chief Partnership Officer. He also worked at IMG as Director of Corporate Partnerships for the SEC, and later as Vice President of Sales.
Pyne was a star center at Virginia Tech from 1990 to 1993, and was inducted into the Hokies' Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.
Pyne's eight-year NFL career was a milestone not only for him, but for his entire family. The Pynes are one of three families to have three generations play professional football. Pyne's grandfather, George Pynee II, played for the Providence Steam Roller of the NFL and his father, George Pyne III, played for the Boston Patriots of the American Football League.
MELISSA BELOTE RIPLEY
1972 Local Personality Makes Good
Melissa now resides in Tempe, Arizona, where she is a high school and club swimming coach.
“The fall is just crazy for me,” she said during a recent conversation. This season, Melissa is coaching the Rio
Salado club team and both the boys’ and girls’ teams at McClintock High School. Under her guidance, all three teams have produced several top swimmers.
Melissa got into coaching because of her children. After going to McClintock frequently to watch them swim, the head coach eventually brought her on as a volunteer assistant coach. She enjoyed coaching both her daughter and son through successful high school careers, leading both to go on to compete in college--Rachel at the University of Missouri and Erik at Towson University.
A native of Washington who grew up in Springfield, Melissa-- or as the media called her, “America’s princess of the water”-- was a tremendous athlete in her own right. When she was just 15, she won three gold medals for the United States in the 1972 Olympics. That led to her selection as the first-ever female to win a Timmie Award. She retired from competitive swimming in 1979 and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1983.
Melissa recalled the Touchdown Club of Washington Awards Dinner as a special evening.
“My father had surprised me and bought me an autograph book," she said, "Which allowed me to go around and meet all the great athletes that were all attending the dinner.”
1996 Prep High School Player of the Year
J.R. Purnell currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is a strategic account executive for Humanscale, working with different companies to create the most efficient workspace.
Since finishing his football career at Georgetown Prep
and the University of Richmond, Purnell has enjoyed great deal of success in the corporate world. He has worked at Humanscale for seven years. As an account executive, J.R. develops big-picture strategies and networks and builds relationships to penetrate new markets.
A three-sport letterwinner at Georgetown Prep, Purnell played four years at running back for the University of Richmond before graduating with a degree in business administration. He was inducted into the Georgetown Prep Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.
These days, besides working, Purnell still finds time for fun and loves exploring Los Angeles.
“L.A. has so much culture and things to experience," he said. "So every weekend I make time to try new things."
1987 Local College Player of the Year
Faucette lives in St. Louis where he is the head football coach for Lutheran South High School, a post he took in 2011 after spending time as the assistant strength coach for the St. Louis Rams.
Faucette described his coaching role as fulfilling.
“I have enjoyed working with the young men and helping shape them for the future.”
Besides being on the sidelines, Faucette enjoys spending time with his family. His four daughters -- Jenna, Juliann, Javoni and Jade -- all played or are currently playing Division I college volleyball. Along with his wife Peggy Ann, he travels often to watch his daughters play.
After a legendary career at Maryland, where he was co-captain in 1985 and 1986, Faucette was drafted in 1987 by the Giants. He played for the Chargers before his career was cut short by a neck injury. His playing days over, Faucette moved into coaching.
“I’ve done everything,” he said of his various roles as both player and coach.
One of his favorite stops was the University of Texas, where he served as assistant strength and conditioning coach. While many would think his role as personal trainer for the future President George Bush had something to do with that, the real reason hit much closer to home.
“Juliann was playing volleyball at Texas at the time, and each day she came into the gym and I got spend time with her.”
1980 Virginia High School Player of the Year
Mark Cox resides in Haymarket, Virginia, where he teaches physical education and drivers education and is the assistant activities director at Battlefield High School.
This fall has been one of change for Cox. For the first
time in many years, he is not on the practice field during the week or on the sideline each Friday night. This past January, he resigned his position as the school’s head football coach. Cox posted a record of 85-34 in 11 seasons at Battlefield, leading the Bobcats to eight consecutive playoff appearances and a Virginia AAA state championship in 2010.
“This was my first weekend in 46 years without football” Cox said after the opening week of the season. “The weirdest part about not being involved was being at school on a Friday and not thinking about the game that night”.
Cox was a quarterback at Annandale High School, where he completed 212 of 406 passes for 3,449 yards and 48 touchdowns. He also rushed for 844 yards and 23 touchdowns. In 1978, he was one of the driving forces in Annandale’s Virginia AAA state title. Heavily recruited, Cox chose Virginia Tech because the Hokies allowed him to play baseball as well as football.
As a coach, Cox enjoyed making an impact on the lives of young men. One of the favorite traditions he created at Battlefield was the post-game hug. Win or lose, Mark would gather his players for a team hug. The hug was to remind every player that the relationship they built on the field was more important than the outcome of any game.
Cox took pride in his program being homegrown. The vast majority of players on his varsity team had been together since middle school football. He believed that continually playing in one system gave the team the best chance for success.
1984 Prep High School Player of the Year
Three-time All-Pro Eric Metcalf resides in Seattle, where he founded an elite high school track club and is a volunteer assistant coach for the University of Washington track and field program.
Metcalf, who was the 1984 Prep High School Player of the Year while starring for O’Connell, played 13 seasons in the NFL, where he was a multidimensional threat at wide receiver, running back and returning kicks. His 12 returns for touchdowns are the third-most in NFL history.
After his football career, Metcalf returned to track, where he had been a four-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion long jumper during his career at the University of Texas. He went on to coach high school track, founded the Sea Town Express and is entering his fifth season at the University of Washington.