The Clark Wood and Sherrill Brakmeier Awards are annual awards presented to one male and one female student-athlete. The candidates should exhibit leadership amongst the team both on the field of competition and off. He/she should exhibit dedication to community service, display a strong will to succeed in the classroom, and represent the University of Louisville in a loyal and honorable manner. The candidates must be junior student-athletes from any of U of L's 23 varsity sports programs. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required. Award winners will be selected by a committee of L-Club Board Members. The deadline for award nominations is in March and the awards will be presented at the Spring All-Sports Banquet.
The awards are presented in honor of two of UofL's most decorated, spirited, loyal and honorable individuals, Clark Wood and Sherrill Brakmeier.
Sherrill Ellmers Brakmeier, a native of Louisville, KY, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and Biology from the University of Louisville in 1944. Upon graduation, she joined the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) at U of L as a faculty member. Later in her tenure she helped to develop and administer the Recreation Education major program.
As a student at U of L, Sherrill participated in various programs and activities on campus. She was a 4-year member of all varsity women's team sports offered at the time: field hockey, basketball, softball and volleyball. She served as the president of the Women's Recreation Association (WRA), and the Pep Club, and was a member of the student council. During her college years, Sherrill worked for the Louisville Parks Department as a community center activities leader and during the summers as a playground leader. She also had a deep commitment to the underprivileged youth of our community and volunteered at various social services agencies such as the Cabbage Patch Settlement House, Wesley Community Center and the Neighborhood House.
As a faculty member, Sherrill taught an array of courses from volleyball to basketball to fencing, bowling and physical fitness and was an academic advisor to HPER students. In addition, to teaching and advising, she served for 30 years as coach of the Field Hockey team, was on the board of directors for Kentucky Women's Intercollegiate Sports (KWIC) and Kentucky Association for the Health Physical Education and Recreation (KAHPER). She was faculty advisor and chaperone to various groups including: Mortar Board, cheerleaders, pep Club, Square Dance Club, etc. She trained students and volunteers to work with Special Olympics and Easter Seal Society participants.
Mrs. Brakmeier has the distinction of being the first woman to be inducted into the University of Louisville Athletic Hall of Fame. She is a long time member of the L-Club board of directors. Numerous awards have come her way for dedication and service to her profession and to the university and also for her commitment to the community.
Her awards include:
1998 - The Red Apple Award - U of L Alumni Association
1994 - Allen Society Award - Metro United Way
1990 - W. Walter Mustang Award - KAHPER (highest award for service)
1985 - Outstanding Alumni Award - U of L Alumni Association
In 1997 the Health Physical Education and Sports Studies (HPES) Department at U of L established the Sherrill E. Brakmeier Award in her honor. The award is presented each year to the outstanding senior in the HPES program for academic excellence, and service to the community, to the prfession and to the university.
Sherrill, a widow, was married to George A. Brakmeier, Jr. for 54 years. She has two children, Sherrill B Zimmerman (Lee) and George A. Brakmeier, III (Pamela), both graduates of U of L, and 3 grandchildren.
Clark Franklin Wood, a native of St. Albans, West Virginia, first came to Kentucky as an All-American tackle at the University of Kentucky. After graduating from UK in 1943, he served in the U. S. Army as a tank commander during World War II including participation in the Battle of the Bulge. His military record includes the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.
After receiving his discharge from the army, Clark Wood taught high school and coached football in Panama City, Florida, where his Bay City Tornadoes enjoyed an undefeated season. While at Bay City High School, he developed several players who would later star at the collegiate level. He joined the football staff at the University of Louisville in 1947 as a line coach for the late Frank Camp and held that position until 1964.
Clark Wood served in many capacities during his tenure at the University of Louisville. He succeeded Dean David Lawrence as the U of L men's track coach in the 1950s and coached that sport for 25 years. Additionally, he founded the present men's cross-country program in 1965. While at U of L, he served as a professor and was eventually the chairman of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (now HPES) until his retirement in 1985. He was an avid handball player and with Louisville policeman Frank Long was twice State Champion in doubles handball.
Clark Wood was inducted into the University of Louisville Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986. The Department of Health Promotion, Physical Education and Sport Studies honored him in 1998 with the establishment of the Clark F. Wood scholarship in HPES.
Clark Wood coached many of U of L's most famous athletes including Johnny Unitas, Lenny Lyles, and Wes Unseld. In retirement he served as a volunteer assistant football coach for Howard Schnellenberger and John L. Smith.
Clark Wood is married to Polly Bealmear Wood, a 1950 alumna of U of L and Associate Dean Emerita of the College of Arts and Sciences. He has a daughter Pat, and two sons, Frank and Ben.