American Football Database
American Football Database
Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award
Awarded forCollege football's most inspirational individual or team
Presented byNational College Football Awards Association
CountryUnited States
First awarded1996
Currently held byNate Boyer, Texas Longhorns
Official website

Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award is presented annually to college football's most inspirational individual or team. The award is one of 21 that are part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA).

Previous winners

Year Recipient/School
1996 Daniel Huffman, Rossville High School (Rossville, Illinois)
Huffman gave up a promising football career to donate a kidney to his grandmother.
1997 Dwight Collins, University of Central Florida
Collins overcame a loss of hearing from meningitis to get a football scholarship at UCF.
1998 Matt Hartl, Northwestern University
Hartl, after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1996, returned as a starter in 1997. *The disease returned in 1998, and Hartl died on August 30, 1999, at the age of 23.
1999 East Carolina University
ECU overcame damage to their Greenville, North Carolina, campus from Hurricane Floyd to finish the season 9–3.
2000 Hameen Ali, The College of William & Mary
Ali overcame "a troubled youth, poverty-stricken living conditions and foster homes, among other obstacles."
2001 United States Service Academies
In the aftermath of 9/11, the members of the United States Air Force Academy, United States Military Academy, and United States Naval Academy teams were honored for their academic and athletic achievements, and their commitment to the military.
2002 Dewayne White, University of Louisville
White overcame the loss of both his parents, two fires that destroyed family homes, and a serious knee injury during his senior year of high school, and was selected 2001 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year.
2003 Neil Parry, San Jose State University
Parry broke his leg in a game for SJSU; a week later, following an infection and nerve and arterial damage, it was amputated. Three years later, Parry, wearing a prosthetic leg, returned to the field for SJSU.
2004 Tim Frisby, University of South Carolina
Frisby walked on at wide receiver for the Gamecocks at age 39, after a 20-year career in the Army.
2005 Tulane University
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and the closure of the campus for the fall semester, Tulane was forced to play all 11 of its games on the road.
2006 Patrick Henry Hughes, University of Louisville
Hughes, Louisville's second recipient, is a member of Louisville's marching band, even though he was born with no eyes and cannot straighten his arms and legs. He shared the award with his father, Patrick John Hughes.
2007 Zerbin Singleton, United States Naval Academy
Singleton overcame personal tragedy and a broken collarbone that initially prevented him from enrolling in Annapolis.
2008 Tim Tebow, University of Florida
Tebow was honored for his "countless hours preaching and providing support to less fortunate people, capitalizing on virtually every opportunity to touch the lives of others."
2009 Mark Herzlich, Boston College
Herzlich was honored for his fight to overcome Ewing's sarcoma, and inspiring his teammates and other football teams to raise money for cancer research.
2010 D.J. Williams, University of Arkansas
Williams, his mother and two sisters fled their home in Dallas to escape a drug-addicted and abusive father. They landed in Arkansas, where they put down roots of their own. Williams used his stature on the Razorbacks football team and spread his story and message to others in groups like the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program, the local Boys and Girls Clubs and Children's Hospital.
2011 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide football team
The Alabama football team was honored for their collective efforts to assist in the rebuilding of Tuscaloosa following the April 27, 2011, tornado that devastated the city. The award was accepted by long snapper Carson Tinker who suffered a broken wrist when he was thrown from his home during the storm, with his girlfriend being one of the 43 fatalities attributed to the storm in Tuscaloosa.[1]
2012 Nate Boyer, University of Texas at Austin
The Longhorns’ long snapper was recognized for his service as Green Beret and work with Darfur refugee camps


  1. Deas, Tommy (November 22, 2011). "Alabama wins Disney Spirit Award for efforts following storm". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved December 7, 2011.

External links