Former Butler Community College football student-athlete Kwamie Lassiter has been honored by the National Junior College Athletic Association as the recipient of an NJCAA Merit Award.
The NJCAA Merit Award is given to a former NJCAA student-athlete that have distinguished themselves and are recognized nationally for their achievements in their profession. Lassiter was joined by Ross Pesak of Central Nebraska as the two recipients of the Merit Award for 2015-16.
Butler Athletic Director Todd Carter presented the award when Lassiter visited his alma mater in El Dorado on Tuesday morning.
Lassiter, who is originally from Newport News, Va., attended Butler and played for the Grizzlies during the 1989 and 1990 seasons. He was a two-year starter, helping Butler to an 18-6 record and two bowl appearances (RC Cola Bowl and East Bowl). Following the 1990 season, he was named first-team All-Jayhawk Conference and was a consensus All-American, earning honors from both the NJCAA and JC Gridwire.
Lassiter then transferred to KU. He was a two-year starter for the Jayhawks in 1992 and 1994. He missed the 1993 season due to injury. He had seven career interceptions and was named second-team All-Big 8 in 1994.
Kwamie then spent 10 years in the National Football League, playing for the Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams, retiring after the 2004 season.
He started at free safety for seven years for the Cardinals and finished his career with 413 tackles, 25 interceptions with two of those returned for touchdowns. In a game against the Chargers in 1998, Lassiter had four interceptions as the Cardinals clinched a playoff berth.
In 2002, Lassiter was a NFL Pro-Bowl alternate.
Following his playing career, the former All-Pro returned to the NJCAA for two seasons as a defensive coach for Mesa (Ariz.) before taking a position with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League (UFL).
Away from the gridiron, Lassiter has been a champion citizen. His charitable work includes the creation of the Teaching All Children to Kickoff Leadership through Education (T.A.C.K.L.E.) Foundation, which provides children of low-income families academic supplies and promotes their success through education.
In 2012, he established the Kwamie Lassiter Foundation, a non-for-profit organization with a mission to raise more awareness to Sickle Cell Anemia and childhood cancer. His annual fundraiser is a charity sponsored bowling event. This has allowed his organization to make countless contributions to different charities.
Kwamie was also the president of the Phoenix chapter of the NFL Alumni Association in 2010 and has been host of a daily sports talk show on Voice America Internet Radio since 2014.