Festival Organizers will have to be forgiven for playing off of one of their own recent Press Releases; but, no one should blame them for repeating: “All things come to those who wait.” In this instance, another amazing effort has produced another amazing result, and a jubilant Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® President, Barry Carper, is able to announce that “The Minister of Defense,” the heartbeat of the 1985 Chicago Bears, Hall of Fame middle linebacker, Mike “Samurai Mike” Singletary will be joining the burgeoning list of 2019 Festival celebrities in the role of Sports Marshal. Singletary, an ordained minister and a persuasive motivator, will be the Featured Speaker at the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast, presented by Grange Insurance, held on Saturday morning, May 4th, at the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletic & Events Center at Shenandoah University.
Mike Singletary was a second-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in the 1981 NFL Draft and the 38th player selected overall. The only college junior to be selected to the All-SWC Team of the 1970s, Singletary earned All-America honors in both his junior and senior years at Baylor, where he averaged 15 tackles per game and established a team record with an almost unbelievable 232 tackles in 1978. Singletary became a starter in the Bears lineup in the seventh game of his rookie season. In his third as a starter, Singletary put on a remarkable performance recording 10 tackles and forcing a fumble. A nearly unanimous all-rookie selection, Singletary went on to start 172 games for the Bears during his 12-year career, which is the second most in club history.
An intense player, Mike finished as the Bears’ first or second leading tackler each of his last 11 seasons. He amassed an impressive 1,488 career tackles, 885 of which were solo efforts; and, missed just two games, both in 1986. Selected to play in a team record 10 Pro Bowls, Singletary was All-Pro eight times, and All-NFC every year from 1983 until 1991. The NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and 1988, Mike was the cornerstone of the Bears’ innovative 46-defense. In 1985, he led a Bears’ defense that allowed fewer than 11 points per game, as the team posted an impressive 15-1 record. He had 13 tackles and a sack in the playoffs leading up to the Bears’ 46-10 defeat of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. The Bears’ defense held the Patriots to a record low seven yards rushing, while Singletary contributed with two fumble recoveries. After a spectacular 12-year career in the NFL, Singletary was quickly inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
After retiring from football in 1993, Mike worked as a consultant and speaker for top Fortune 500 companies. His keynotes focused on diversity, work/life balance, teamwork, leadership and commitment to discipline. He is the author of 4 books; Singletary on Singletary, Singletary – One on One, Calling the Shotsand Daddy’s Home at Last. Mike headed back to the NFL in 2002 to coach linebackers for the Baltimore Ravens. In 2004 he became the Assistant Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers and in 2008 became their interim Head Coach before heading to Minnesota as Special Assistant to the Head Coach. He is currently the Head Coach of Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, TX. Mike Singletary was a tremendous athlete; but, more than that, he is a person who exemplifies outstanding character and leadership as a family man, community member, corporate spokesman and businessman. Michael Singletary commands respect and projects determination every season of the year.
Tickets sold for the 2019 Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast presented by Grange Insurance already exceed last year’s total attendance. There are still other Sports Guests to be announced. Due to catering constraints, it is thought that the event may be capped at 1,000 tickets sold. Festival Organizers advise fans not to wait!