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06-10-03, 07:58 AM
“All American” to be Honored at College Football Hall of Fame

Press Release Number: EHD200306052 05-Jun-03

NAVAIR Director and Former “All American” to be Honored at College Football Hall of Fame
By Vicky Falcón
NAVAIR Public Affairs Office

Dwayne Nix has one photo of himself from college – a photo that is much in demand these days.

In 1968, the Fall before he graduated from Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) in Kingsville, Texas, Nix became the second person ever to be voted an Associated Press three-time All American football player (1966-1968). And this summer his football accomplishments will be recognized again as he is inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame for 2003. The prestigious event includes players and coaches from NCAA Divisions I, I-AA, II, III, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

As Director of the Washington Liaison Office for the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Nix hadn’t thought much about his college football days – the demands of his NAVAIR job as well as his temporary duties in the Marine Corps Reserve taking much of his time. Nix, a Marine Corps Colonel, serves as Assistant Deputy Director, Operations Division in the Plans, Programs and Operations Department at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“I always considered being voted three times as an All American was big enough. Now all this, 35 years later,” said Nix, speaking of the attention. “It’s remarkable.”

And when the request for memorabilia came from event organizers, Nix had to scramble to come up with his one photo.

“Most of my (college) stuff I left at my parent’s home when I went into the Marine Corps,” said Nix. “When their house burned down I lost all of it.”

A south Texas native, Nix had planned to stay home and work on his family’s farm until football gave him an opportunity to go to college. Though he was recruited as a tight-end, Nix won all three of his All America honors as a wide receiver.

His college education opened doors for Nix to become a naval aviator and an officer in the Marine Corps following graduation. After five years flying helicopter gun ships in the Marine Corps, including a tour in Viet Nam, Nix got out of the military and took a job with Bell Helicopter in Iran. While in Iran, Nix left Bell to work for NAVAIR as the in-country logistics officer for the program office that oversaw the Iranian F-14A and Phoenix missile program. But he and his family had to be evacuated from the country in 1979 when the Islamic revolutionary government took over.

“My wife was eight months pregnant with our second child when we were evacuated from Tehran,” said Nix. “Unfortunately, the rest of my college pictures were left there with all of our other belongings.”

For Nix, though, losing the memorabilia was no big deal compared to the safety of his family – those items were just a little bit of lost history.

“I never dwelled on any of it,” he said, speaking of his football accomplishments. In fact, Nix made sure his children felt no extra pressure from him to focus on athletics. “I wanted them to be involved in a lot of things – to participate in as much as possible and have a well-rounded education,” he said.

After returning to the United States, Nix attended the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif., where he received a Master’s of Science in Administration. Returning to NAVAIR in Washington, D.C. in 1981, he was re-commissioned in the Marine Corps Reserves and joined a Marine CH-46 squadron at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.

In 1990 his squadron was activated for Operation Desert Storm for six months, deploying to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Later in his reserve career, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, and was activated twice – first following the events of 9-11 and again for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

During his civilian career with NAVAIR, Nix has been the Deputy Program Manager for five different program offices, including those that oversaw the CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter, the AH-1W helicopter gunship, the T-45A Goshawk advanced training jet and the AV-8B Harrier.

“I feel most fortunate that I can not only participate in the reserves,” said Nix, “but I know that every day I get out of bed and go to work at NAVAIR I continue to support the fleet.”

And the football tribute he will receive during the ceremonies in South Bend, Indiana, on August 8-9 is just icing on the cake to him.

“I am not as honored that my accomplishments will be recognized, as I am in awe of the people I am included with,” he said. “It really is unbelievable to be recognized at the same time with such greats as Reggie White, Dan Marino and Ronnie Lott.”

Inductees will be feted with a dinner, Hall of Fame rings, private and public autograph sessions, a flag football game – and lots of pictures.

“We were actually hoping that my school’s athletic department would be able to help us find some stored photos and films of my games for the event,” said Nix. Unfortunately, he discovered an over-zealous athletic director who cleaned out the office there a couple years ago destroyed most of the school archives.

“We finally found one photo that was at my mother-in-law’s house,” said Nix. “It’s the only one left of me from that time.”

From that photo a bronze plaque will be made and permanently displayed at the Hall of Fame. Another plaque will also be sent to Nix’s alma mater for display at the university.

And after all of the hullabaloo dies down, and he’s back at work supporting the warfighter, Nix is keeping his fingers crossed that event organizers will remember to return his photo.

NAVAIR provides advanced warfare technologies through the efforts of a seamless, integrated, worldwide network of aviation technology experts. From aircraft and weapons development to carrier launch and recovery; from sensors to real-time communications to precision targeting; from aircraft and weapons sustainment to state-of-the-art training; NAVAIR provides dominant combat effects and matchless capabilities to the American warfighter.


Dwayne Nix, director of NAVAIR's Washington Liaison Office, was the the second person ever to be voted an Associated Press three-time All American football player (1966-1968). He received those honors while playing for Texas A&I University and this summer those accomplishments will be recognized with his induction into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame for 2003.




06-11-03, 03:47 PM
Wow, Roger, what a surprise! Dwayne Nix was one of our PLC candidates at Texas A&I when I was on Officer Selection duty in Austin, TX, '68-'69. I still have the silver dollar given to me by the new 2dLt Nix when I gave him his first salute as an Officer of Marines. I have often wondered what became of those new butter bars we commissioned...

Semper Fidelis, Frank