History

The Winged Foot Scholar Athlete Award began at Collier Athletic Club as a vision of Dr. Charles Karpas, Frank Donnelly and a handful of CAC Founders. Modeled after the Heisman Trophy, The Winged Foot Scholar Athlete Award was designed to recognize the top senior scholar athlete from each of the high schools in Collier County. The first award was presented in 1990 to Terry Dean of Barron Collier High School at banquet held at Collier Athletic Club featuring keynote speaker Dick Vitale. The banquet was held at CAC for 9 years, until it was permanently moved to The Registry Resort (Naples Grande Resort & Club) for the tenth anniversary. The Winged Foot Scholar Athlete Award rapidly became the most prestigious award a high school student can receive in Collier County.

Our Mission

The Winged Foot Scholarship Foundation is in pursuit of those characteristics exemplified by the highest standards in sportsmanship, the desire to excel and to compete with a sense of fairness. The Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award is the vehicle for endorsing these qualities and recognizing them in the high school students of Collier County. Each scholar-athlete selected from the various schools reflects these standards of excellence.

What is the Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award?

The Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award recognizes the best scholar-athlete from each of the Collier County High Schools.  The award has rapidly become the most prestigious single award that is made to Collier County students and has resulted in a healthy competition among students and schools.

Modeled after the Heisman Trophy, The Winged Foot Award was started in 1989 by Dr. Charles Karpas, a former member of the Heisman Trophy Committee, and a group of members from Collier Athletic Club. Each of the public and private Collier County High Schools nominates its best senior scholar-athlete, each of whom receives a beautiful award and scholarship for $5,000.  The winner, selected by a panel of Winged Foot Committee members and local citizens, receives a spectacular crystal trophy, modeled after the trophy on display in the lobby of Collier Athletic Club, and receives a $10,000 scholarship.

We are particularly proud of the awards banquet, as it reflects a level of professionalism seldom seen at the high school level.  The keynote speakers have included:  Urban Meyer, Lou Holtz, Tony Dungy, Dick Vitale, Joe Theismann, Bobby Bowden, Steve Spurrier, Chris Berman, Dan Dierdorf, Bill Walton, Brooks Robinson, Jack Kemp, Bonnie Blair, Dominique Dawes, Mike Eruzione and Joe Morgan.  The program is very crisp and brief, but is a heartwarming and inspirational evening for the students and families involved.

We believe the Winged Foot Award is unique, not only because it recognizes students who excel in both athletics and academics, but because the awards presentation is an event more befitting a prestigious college award.

Thank you for your interest in The Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award.