News

Lee Corso Named 2017 Howard Palmer Award Winner

Florida Citrus Sports has selected ESPN personality Lee Corso as this year’s recipient of the the Howard Palmer Award, the organization’s highest service honor. The award will be presented at this year’s Member Celebration on May 18 at Full Sail Live.

Corso becomes the 28th recipient of the award, which is presented annually. The Orlando-area resident and former football coach has been a friend of Florida Citrus Sports for decades, most notably as the featured speaker at the Team Selection Committee Kickoff Dinner each fall.

“Lee is a legend beloved by millions of college football fans and you’ll not find a more genuine, generous, celebrity that works as hard at returning that affection ,” said FCSports CEO Steve Hogan. “From speaking at our stadium’s ceremonial reopening in 2014 to his countless hours of entertainment at our Team Selection Committee Kickoff Dinners, I can’t thank him enough for the time and support he has given to Florida Citrus Sports over the years.”

The prestigious Howard Palmer Award is a tribute to an individual who continually strives to make significant contributions to the Florida Citrus Sports organization and its efforts without regard for personal recognition. Presented since the 1989-90 season, the annual award recognizes a “lifetime” of service to FCSports. Past honorees include such Orlando notables as Bill Dymond, Paul Kennedy and last year’s honoree, Chuck Rohe.

A two-way star on the field for Florida State, Corso began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for his alma mater in 1958. Following subsequent stops at Maryland and Navy, Corso became the head coach at Louisville where he led the Cardinals to their second-ever bowl game in 1970. Soon after, he took over the reins at Indiana where he spent a decade at the helm.

Following his stay in Bloomington he spent one year as head coach of Northern Illinois before returning to his home state in 1985 to coach the USFL’s Orlando Renegades for their lone season in the league.

He was hired by ESPN in 1987 as an analyst for its college football preview show College GameDay. Today, Corso’s catchphrases and trademark “headgear” predictions remain among the most popular features of the popular, award-winning program.

Howard Palmer Award Recipients:

2016      Lee Corso
2015       Chuck Rohe
2014       Ford Kiene
2013       Paul Kennedy
2012       Charlie Miller
2011       Bill Sullivan
2010       Rich Fildes
2009       Harvey Massey
2008       Bill Dymond
2007       Marshall Vermillion
2006       Mike Vestal
2005       Pat Bishop
2004       Royce Walden
2003       Simon Snyder
2002       Dennis Braziel
2001       Yogi Moore
2000      George Nahas
1999       Bill Becker
1998       Tommy Thompson
1997       Tom McCoy
1996       Chuck Heard
1995       Garneta Swenson
1994       Jeff Clark
1993       Bob Matheison
1992       Elmer Cook
1991       Vernon Hinely
1990       Debby Sweeney
1989       Tom Quattry