Dapper Dan Dinner: Ganassi chosen for new award 2011

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Before 2010, only horses could claim the Triple Crown.

Then, Fox Chapel's Chip Ganassi came along and added horsepower to the distinction.

Ganassi became the first car owner to win the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 in the same year and only the second owner to win both in a career. Then he added a win at the Brickyard 400 -- a NASCAR race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

He now has another first: the first-ever Dapper Dan Sports Leadership Award, which he will receive at the dinner and sports auction Feb. 9 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

"I literally didn't realize it until maybe an hour after the race that nobody [had] won the two big races in Indianapolis in the same year. Then people started calling this the 'Triple Crown,' " Ganassi said.

Looking ahead
  • What: Dapper Dan Dinner & Sports Auction, David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
  • When: Feb. 9.
  • Of note: For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.post-gazette.com/dapperdan or call 412-263-3850.

The Leadership Award will not be given annually. It is a new award to honor sports leadership among team ownership and in the front office.

Ganassi said he is thrilled to get recognition "back home" and credited his success as an owner to the good example set by executives of the city's three professional sports teams and by the University of Pittsburgh athletic department.

"Yes it's about the performance of the team, yes it's about wins and losses, but it's also about how it's done, and I've learned a lot from those people," Ganassi said.

Steeler Joe Greene previously was selected as the recipient of the Dapper Dan Lifetime Achievement Award.

Nominations also have been announced for the 2010 Dapper Dan Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year. Readers can vote online at www.post-gazette.com/dapperdan/ballot or by filling out the ballots in the newspaper and mailing them to Dapper Dan Charities, P.O. Box 957, Pittsburgh, PA 15230. Voting ends Dec. 20. Totals will be weighed by the executive committee in selecting the winners. The sportsman and sportswoman of the year will be announced Dec. 26 in the Post-Gazette.

Nominated for sportsman of the year:

Sidney Crosby, Penguins captain who scored a game-winning goal for Canada in the Olympic gold medal game and finished tied for the NHL lead in goals.

Jamie Dixon, coach of the Pitt basketball team, which had a 25-win season in 2009-10, the team's sixth in a row.

Bob Huggins, West Virginia basketball coach who led the Mountaineers to their first Final Four appearance in 51 years.

Hines Ward, Steelers receiver who became the first player in team history to reach 11,000 career receiving yards.

Nominated for sportswoman of the year:

Suzie McConnell-Serio, Duquesne women's basketball coach who led the Dukes to three consecutive .500-plus seasons for the first time in school history.

Meghan Klingenberg, Pine-Richland graduate who led North Carolina to an Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season soccer title and earned a spot on the U.S. U-23 women's team.

Dori Oldaker, Mt. Lebanon girls' basketball coach who won WPIAL and PIAA championships for the second consecutive season.

Tanisha Wright, West Mifflin alumna who averaged 11.3 points per game in the WNBA finals to help lead the Seattle Storm to their second championship.


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