Stanford's Vardell earns NCAA silver anniversary award


Former Stanford star Tommy Vardell, nicknamed "Touchdown Tommy" during his time on The Farm, is one of six recipients of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, as announced on Thursday.

Vardell joins Ty Detmer, Alonzo Mourning, Susan Robinson Fruchtl, Heather Taggart and Troy Vincent as recipients of this year's prestigious honor. The NCAA will recognize the honorees at its convention on Jan. 18 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Vardell, who graduated with a degree in industrial engineering in 1992, completed his standout Cardinal career with a school-record 39 touchdowns. He recorded a single-season record 22 touchdowns during the 1991 season. His single-season touchdown total is now second in school history, while his career touchdown mark is now third in school history.

In a 36-31 victory over Notre Dame during the 1990 season, he tied the Stanford single-game record with four rushing touchdowns, a mark that he now shares with eight others.

The two-time captain was a All-Pac-10 first team selection after rushing for 1,188 yards as a senior in 1991. The yardage still stands as the sixth-best total in a season in school history. A CoSIDA Academic All-American, Vardell was also named the 1991 GTE Academic All-American of the Year as a senior.

He was a first-round NFL draft pick of the Cleveland Browns in 1992, playing eight seasons with the Browns, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers, totaling 1,427 yards on 403 carries.

Following his professional football career, Vardell co-founded Northgate Capital, a private equity and venture capital asset management firm. He has served as a managing director at Northgate, which earned the distinction in 2008 as a World Economic Forum Global Growth Company.

Stanford's top football scholar-athlete award is named the Tommy Vardell Academic Achievement Award in his honor. Vardell created the cast for the award that is handed out to recipients annually.

Vardell serves on the Stanford Alumni Association's finance committee, as well as its alumni business and services committee. He is president of the Brotherbird Foundation, which provides enrichment services to disadvantaged youth.

— Stanford Athletics

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