Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces NFL MVP Shaun Alexander Received Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Award

Press Release Date:  Friday, May 12, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

Chris Gilligan

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced that Kentucky native and NFL Most Valuable Player Shaun Alexander has been awarded the state’s “Kentucky Unbridled Spirit” Award.

Alexander, star running back for the Seattle Seahawks and a native of Boone County, received the honor at Florence Elementary School where he started his educational and athletic pursuits.  Alexander visited the school to thank students for raising money for The Shaun Alexander Family Foundation and to view the Super Bowl posters students made for him and the Seahawks earlier this year.

“Look at Shaun Alexander and you’ll see a person who typifies Kentucky’s Unbridled Spirit,” said Governor Fletcher.  “He is fulfilling his dreams and pushing himself to new heights of success. He also is actively involved in improving the lives of young people in Kentucky and elsewhere, and that is the sign of a true champion.”

In addition to his career on the football field, Alexander is actively involved in his charity, the Shaun Alexander Family Foundation. With offices in Northern Kentucky, Alabama and Seattle, the foundation assists fatherless young men with educational and other needs.

According to the foundation’s Web site (, the organization’s mission is “To empower young men through education, athletics, character programs and leadership training; inspiring them to reach their full potential as the mentors and role models for the next generation.”

Derrick Ramsey, deputy secretary, Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, and a former pro football player himself, presented the award to Alexander. Other winners of the Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Award include cross-country cyclist Joe Bowen and jockey Patti Cooksey.

Nominees for the award will be judged on how they measure up to the definition of “Kentucky Unbridled Spirit,” which is described this way:

“Kentucky is a place where sprits are free to soar and big dreams can be fulfilled.  We relish competition and cherish our champions for their willingness to push beyond conventional boundaries to reach new heights of success.”

Accomplishments of nominees may be related to volunteerism, community or charitable work, education, job creation, innovation, health care, sports, the arts or other complementary areas.

Any Kentuckian is eligible to submit a nomination or to be nominated. Nominations may be submitted online on the governor’s page at, or a nomination form can be requested by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

“Kentucky Unbridled Spirit” Award
c/o Governor Ernie Fletcher
Kentucky State Capitol
700 Capital Avenue
Frankfort, KY 40601