The Northeastern State University Alumni Association is pleased to announce that the 2016 Distinguished Alumni, Outstanding Young Alumnus Honorees and the recipient of the Presidents’ Award for Community Service have been named.

Distinguished Alumni

Longtime NSU football coach, George Elliott led the Redmen team to a National Runner-up in 1980 and won Conference Coach of the Year in 1980, 1982 and 1983. After 12 years with the team, the 1955 NSU alumnus received the NSU Citation of Merit Award in 1984, was inducted to the NSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988, and served as the president of the NSU Athletic Association during the 2012-13 year. He was also inducted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Muskogee Hall of Fame in 2008.

The trademarked “Pitbull of Personal Development” and “World’s Only Irritational Speaker,” Larry Winget is a 1976 NSU alumnus. Winget has written six New York Times/Wall Street Journal bestselling books, hosted A&E Network’s “Big Spender,” is a regular commentator on CNBC, MSNBC, FOX Business Network and Fox News, and stars in his own online show, “Grow a Pair” on the Whatever It Takes Network. The Arizona Republic has twice named Winget “Arizona’s Best Author” and “Best Television Celebrity.”

Outstanding Young Alumnus

Jay Falkner, class of 1999, is the president of Carl Albert State College. Falkner previously served as the association vice president for enrollment management at CASC. At Northeastern, he was a member of the President’s Leadership Class and performed in the Downtown Hoedown Players/Downtown Country summer shows. He also recruited students to the university. In his off time, Falkner performs as the frontman for South 40, a country/southern rock/red dirt band.

Presidents’ Award for Community Service

Ed Fite led the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission as an administrator and chief from 1983 until 2016. As part of OSRC, the 1984 NSU alumnus worked to set and enforced rules and license commercial float operations for the Illinois River and its tributaries. He also educated, promoted litter cleanup and provided field trips, conferences and seminars. This May, Fite received the Outstanding Contribution to River Management Award, a lifetime achievement. He and his wife, Terri, are lifetime members of the NSU Alumni Association.

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2016 Honorees

Distinguished Alumni


George Elliott '55
Hall of Fame Coach, Volunteer

Larry Winget '76
Author, TV Commentator, Speaker

Outstanding Young Alumnus

Jay Falkner '99
Carl Albert State College President

Presidents' Award For Community Service


Ed Fite '84
Environmental Conservation Advocate