The San Francisco 49ers are excited to announce the recipients of their 2009 team awards.
Len Eshmont Award: TE
The Len Eshmont Award is voted on by the players on the team and is given to the 49er who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont, an original member of the 1946 49ers team. Eshmont, who coached at Navy and Virginia following his career in San Francisco, died in 1957. The award was established that year.
Bill Walsh Award: LB
The Bill Walsh Award was established in 2004 in honor of San Francisco’s Hall of Fame Head Coach. Walsh served as the team’s head coach for 10 seasons from 1979-88. In that time, he compiled a record of 102-63-1 and led the team to three Super Bowls. He was twice named Coach of the Year (1981, 1984) and was later named Coach of the Decade for the 1980s. The award, which is voted on by coaches, is given to the 49ers team MVP, honoring his outstanding individual performance.
Bobb McKittrick Award: G
The Bobb McKittrick award is given annually to the 49ers offensive lineman who best represents the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by the longtime offensive line coach, during his 21 years of service to the 49ers. The award was established by the 49ers in 1999, and is voted on by the offensive line.
Hazeltine Iron Man Award: NT
The Hazeltine Iron Man Award is named for former linebacker/center Matt Hazeltine, a 13-year performer who played more seasons at linebacker than any other 49ers player. Known for his durability and dedication, Hazeltine passed away in 1987 from ALS, and Bill Walsh established the award in his honor that year. The award is given annually to the most courageous and inspirational defensive player.
Thomas Herrion Memorial Award: FB
Thomas Herrion Memorial Award was established in 2005 by 49ers owners Denise and John York and is presented to a rookie or first-year player who best represents the dream of Thomas Herrion. The recipient has taken advantage of every opportunity, turned it into a positive situation and made their dream turn into a reality. The award is voted on by the coaches.
The honor recognizes those 49ers players who have contributed at least 10 years of service to the franchise. Both Jennings and Ulbrich reached the landmark this season. Ulbrich will be appearing in front of the 49ers Faithful as a player for the last time this Sunday versus the Detroit Lions, as he announced his retirement earlier this season.
The Perry/Yonamine Unity Award: LB
The award is presented to the 49ers player who exhibits an exceptional commitment to promoting unity within the team and in their community. The Perry/Yonamine Unity Award is named for the former 49ers players and pioneers of unity and diversity, Joe “The Jet” Perry and Wally Yonamine, and is voted on by the players.
The Ed Block Courage Award: CB
The award is given annually to the 49er player that exemplifies a commitment to sportsmanship and courage. The honor is voted on by the players. Each NFL teams selects a recipient annually.