Tom Little of Mount Sterling, Ill., was named the 13th member of the Green Bay Packers FAN Hall of Fame Tuesday at Lambeau Field.
Little, a devoted Packers fan since a child, was selected by fans from 10 finalists during a voting period that ran from Jan. 2, 2011, through Feb. 6, 2011. More than 35,000 votes were cast from throughout the United States and countries around the world.
As the head football coach at Brown County High School in Mount Sterling, Ill., Little has used his passion for football and the Packers to help rebuild the school's football program. This past season he led the team to its first playoff semifinal round in the school's history.
Little's wife, Dolly, nominated him with a poem. Fans then chose Little as the 13th FAN Hall of Fame Honoree.
An excerpt of Dolly's poem reads,
"Since 2002 the football program has come a long way,
Who knows, maybe someday he will coach in Green Bay.
But he has always stayed true to his players, just like he has with the Pack,
Teaching them good sportsmanship and he'll always have their back."
Tom and Dolly Little currently reside in Mount Sterling, Ill., where they raise their two sons Vince and Beau (named after Vince Lombardi and Curly Lambeau). He has been coaching for Brown County High School since 2002.
This year's other finalists included Gene Greening, Menasha, Wis.; Todd Gregorski, Gilbert, Ariz.; Sara Lavado, Tewksbury, Mass.; Gertrude Lederer, Milwaukee, Wis.; Gene Noonan, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.; Jim Nowicki, West Chester, Ohio; John O'Neill, Cross Plains, Wis.; Gary Platt, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.; and Tim Skipper, Lakewood, Calif.
Little will receive four club seats to a 2011 Packers home game; a $500 Packers Pro Shop gift certificate; a road trip for two to a 2011 Packers away game, including game ticket, air fare and hotel accommodation; and a one-year subscription to Packer Plus and Packer Insider.
The Green Bay Packers established the Packers FAN Hall of Fame in 1998 for the purpose of annually honoring a devout and longtime Packers fan.
The 12 prior honorees include Mel Knoke, Appleton, Wis.; Louis Gardipee, Black River Falls, Wis.; Ed Jablonski, Wausau, Wis.; Paul Mazzoleni, Green Bay; Wanda Boggs, Brookfield, Wis.; Sister Isaac Jogues Rousseau, Milwaukee; Dorothy Hanke, Milwaukee; Kathy Lazzaro, Milwaukee; Rich Barbera, River Vale, N.J.; Richard 'Ike' Eisenhauer, Wauwatosa, Wis.; Allan Hale, Green Bay; and Jim Becker, Racine, Wis.
FAN Hall of Fame sponsors are Best Buy, Stein Gardens and Gifts, Goodwill* and the *Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.