Dennis Poppe, who retired as vice president of championships and alliances for the NCAA in 2014, was the recipient of the 2007 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award.
Poppe ran the College World Series from 1987 to 2013, with the tournament growing into a major national event. Poppe, who spent over 39 years with the NCAA, was responsible for all issues related to the sports of football and baseball, including but not limited to the administration of the baseball and football championships, coordination of playing rules with the respective rules committees, serving as staff liaison with the coaches associations, working with postseason football bowl certification, monitoring and coordinating legislative issues and addressing other issues that might impact either sports.
Poppe administered NCAA football championships beginning in 1974 and served as the primary liaison with the Division I-AA Football Committee, the NCAA Football Issues Committee, the NCAA Football Study Oversight Committee and the NCAA Football Rules Committee. He also served as the liaison with the American Football Coaches Association.
His baseball responsibilities included serving as the primary liaison to the NCAA Div. I Baseball Committee and serving as the tournament director for the Men's College World Series. In addition, he was the liaison to the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee, the American Baseball Coaches Association and USA Baseball.
Prior to joining the NCAA, Poppe served as a graduate assistant football coach and assistant director of athletics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was a three-year varsity football letter winner and played in the 1968 Gator Bowl and 1970 Orange Bowl. He was named to the 1969 All Big 8 football team as a defensive safety and the all-academic team.
Named after the great Lefty Gomez, this annual award is presented to an individual who has distinguished himself among his peers and has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally and internationally. The Lefty Gomez Award is sponsored by Wilson Sporting Goods.