Boston College Master of Healthcare Administration graduate student Richard Yeargin was recently named as the recipient of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 2019 Brian Piccolo Award. The Brian Piccolo award is given to the “most courageous” football player in the ACC in memory of the late ACC Athlete of the Year in 1965. Piccolo played for the Chicago Bears before his diagnosis with cancer. His story was told in the made-for-tv movies Brian’s Song in 1971 and again in 2001.
Richard Yeargin began his college football career at Clemson before suffering an accident in June of 2017 that resulted in fractures of the C5 through C7 vertebrae at the base of his neck. Recurring symptoms from his injuries prevented him from playing football again at Clemson, but he underwent surgery and continued his rehab while serving as a student coach for the team. He completed his undergraduate degree in December of 2017 and a master’s degree in 2019. When Yeargin discovered he had been cleared to return to football, he transferred to Boston College, enrolled in the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program and joined the Eagle football team.
He appeared in every game as a regular in the Eagles’ defensive line rotation while making six starts. Yeargin finished the regular season with 12 total tackles, including six for lost yardage, and a quarterback hurry. Steve Addazio, Yeargin’s Head Coach, noted: “He has been a tremendous addition to our football team both on and off the field and has shown tremendous courage and passion in returning to the field. We could not be happier for him.” The leadership of the Boston College MHA program congratulates Richard Yeargin for both the 2019 Brian Piccolo Award, as well as his accomplishments in the classroom and on the football field.