Barnes not BGSU’s only tie to Biletnikoff Award

BOWLING GREEN, O.—If Bowling Green State University’s Freddie Barnes wins the Biletnikoff Award Thursday as college football’s best receiver, he will hoist the handiwork of another BGSU award-winner.

Jeff Artz, now creative director in BGSU’s Office of Marketing and Communications, was lead designer of the Biletnikoff Award trophy when he worked for a Tallahassee, Fla., advertising agency and design firm in the early 1990s. The trophy has since won several national awards for design excellence.

Artz, from Perrysburg, moved to Tallahassee after graduating from BGSU in 1992. The following year, he was hired as a designer at Kidd & Co., whose new client, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, soon “had this idea to have a new award for the best collegiate receiver,” Artz said.

As lead designer on the project, he worked on the logo and branding, as well as the trophy, for the award, which is named for former Florida State and Oakland Raiders great Fred Biletnikoff.

Artz, who returned to northwest Ohio in 1997 and to BGSU several years ago, was glad to hear last month that Barnes, the Falcons’ record-setting receiver, was a finalist for the award. “I thought that was so cool,” he said, adding that he emailed his Kidd & Co. boss—after years of no communication—when he found out. “He (Barnes) deserves it.”

The award will be presented during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards, airing live from Walt Disney World at 7 p.m. Thursday on ESPN. The other finalists are Jordan Shipley of Texas and Notre Dame’s Golden Tate.

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(Posted December 09, 2009 )