(STATS) - Mickey Charles, creator of the FCS legacy awards in college football's Division I subdivision, died at age 83 in his suburban Philadelphia home on Dec. 28.
Charles, born Charles Tucker, was afflicted with Parkinson's disease in his later years.
The former CEO and president of The Sports Network brought national coverage to what was first known as the Division I-AA level, including a weekly Top 25 media ranking of teams. The FCS Awards started in 1987 with the Walter Payton offensive player and Eddie Robinson coach of the year awards. The Buck Buchanan Award (defensive player) was added in 1985 and the Jerry Rice Award (freshman player) in 2011.
The 2018 FCS Awards will be presented at a national banquet Friday night in Frisco, Texas, where the FCS national championship game will be played the next day.
Raised in New York, Charles graduated high school when he was 15 and went on to Columbia University for two years of studies and basketball before he transferred to Division III Kalamazoo College. There, he was a basketball captain and earned an appreciation for the smaller levels of college athletics. He went on to Brooklyn Law School.
A huge fan of the New York sports scene, especially the Yankees and Giants, Charles was an avid worldwide traveler. He had a wide range of interests and accomplishments, including newspaper syndication, national sports talk shows, features writing, seminar speaking and consulting. He was a pioneer in the audiotex industry, forming a sports telecommunications group originally focused on telephonic-delivered sports information, which evolved into the Computer Information Network - the international wire service that came to be known in the industry as The Sports Network.
He sold The Sports Network to STATS in February 2015.
Charles is survived by his wife, Rosalind, three children, Wayne, Lisa, and Stacy, and four granddaughters.