Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins roamed the Clemson secondary as a free safety from 1992-95. Dawkins earned the respect of his teammates, coaches and fan base with his intense style of play and leadership on and off the field.
Clemson football aspires to shape the lives of their student-athletes as citizens that will impact our world for eternity. Beginning in 2013, the Brian Dawkins Lifetime Achievement Award was created with its namesake’s legacy and impact in mind. The purpose of this award is to honor those former student-athletes who embody these qualities and maintain lifestyles indicative of true champions at their best.
Candidates for the Brian Dawkins Lifetime Achievement Award must be Clemson football lettermen and graduates with at least ten years of service as alumni who show continual support of Clemson University and its vision, validated by participation in institutional involvement and community engagement. The yearly award recipient, voted on by a committee of former winners and program leaders, must display community leadership and represent the values associated with the Brian Dawkins Clemson Lifetime Achievement Award: integrity, scholarship, athletics, service, leadership, commitment, dedication, courage, resilience and spirit.
The 2020 Brian Dawkins Award recipient is Michael Dean Perry, a former Clemson All-American and six-time NFL Pro Bowler. Perry played for Clemson between 1984-87 and recorded a school-record of 61 career tackles for loss. 28 of the tackles for loss were sacks, which still ties for second-most in Clemson history. Perry played 7 years with the Browns, 3 years with the Broncos, was nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was pro AFC Defensive Player of the Year, and was named to 4 All Pro Selections during his ten years in the league. In 2000, Perry was named to the Clemson Centennial and was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall ofFame. In 2005, Perry was named to the state of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame and was inducted into the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame in 2016. In addition to his successful football career, Michael Dean is involved in many different ministries and is a member of NFLPA, continuing to support other retired players in community involvement. Michael is not only an alumnus of Clemson, but a continual supporter of the program. As an entrepreneur, he owns many businesses and currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.