April 21, 2014
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Sam Botek, a member of the Young Thundering Herd in 1971, and Marshall quarterbacking legend Byron Leftwich will speak at the 2014 Spring Awakening Memorial Fountain Ceremony on Saturday at 11 a.m. Botek will be the featured speaker, while Leftwich will deliver the ceremony’s closing remarks.
Botek, a native of Toledo, Ohio, was one of Coach Jack Lengyel’s first recruits. He graduated in 1975 and went back to Toledo to work in his family business, Metropolitan Distributing Co., and eventually earned the position of president. He has since retired from the business and spends much of his time running the roads between Toledo and Huntington, where his son, Mac Marshall Botek, is a freshman on campus.
Leftwich, who helped Marshall win four Mid-American Conference titles, enjoyed a 10-year NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, throwing for more than 10,000 yards and a victory in Super Bowl XLIII with the Steelers in 2008.
Leftwich was named MVP in three consecutive Marshall bowl victories -- the Herd’s 25-14 win over Cincinnati in the 2000 Motor City Bowl; its furious comeback to a 64-61 double-overtime victory over East Carolina in the 2001 GMAC Bowl; and the 2002 GMAC Bowl triumph over Louisville, 38-15. His 65.1 percent career completion percentage still stands as a school record.
On Friday, Marshall athletics will hold the 36th annual Big Green Dinner, with ESPN analyst Herm Edwards as its featured speaker. That event is sold out. A waiting list for single tickets to the dinner will be kept through Thursday in the Big Green office. Interested individuals may call 304-696-4661 to be placed on it.