The Florida Sports Hall of Fame recognizes and honors Florida’s greatest sports figures and events, and leverages this collective celebrity to promote fitness awareness, education and sports activities among our state’s youth and adults. Equally important is the promotion of the qualities of discipline and honor among sports participants. Please visit our website at www.floridasportshalloffame.com
Florida Sports Hall of Fame Fame for Fitness Award
In Recognition of Outstanding Contribution and Commitment to Fighting Childhood Obesity and Children's Diabetes
2013 J.O. Spengler
Previous Fame for Fitness Award
Son of NFL Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott, Ryan Nece has spent his entire life in the place where sports and business intersect.
Nece received his Bachelor’s Degree in business economics from UCLA, where he starred on the football field as a linebacker for the Bruins in the late 1990's, when they were nationally ranked and Pac-10 Champions.
After graduation, Nece signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent on April 22, 2002.Â During his rookie season, NeceÂ was awarded Rookie of the Year honors with Tampa Bay the same year they won the World Championship at Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego.Â What followed wasÂ seven seasons in the NFL, including six years with Tampa Bay and a year with the Detroit Lions. Nece was a three-time team elected Captain and served four years as the team elected NFLPA Player Representative while with the Buccaneers.
In Detroit, Nece was the only player in the NFL to be a starter and lead his team in special teams snaps and tackles.
Nece has stayed active in business and charity life in parallel with his NFL football career. He sits on the board of the Tampa Bay Sports Authority and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo.Â He has alsoÂ completed NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Programs at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and HarvardBusinessSchool.
In 2006, he created The Ryan Nece Foundation in an effort to better the communities where he lives and works. His foundation strives to provide physical, financial, and spiritual assistance to those in need through various foundation programs for youth and families. Also, Nece launched the Power of Giving campaign in June 2009 to encourage individuals to become involved in the needs of their community.
Annika Sörenstam is the greatest female golfer of our generation, and often regarded as the best of all time. During her 15-year Hall of Fame career, she rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards, and changed the way women’s golf was played, viewed and covered. She amassed 89 worldwide victories, including 72 on the LPGA, ten of which are Major Championships. She has a record eight Rolex Player of the Year awards and holds the record for the lowest scoring average in a season (68.6969 in 2004). She has a record six Vare Trophies for the year’s lowest scoring average. She is the only female to break 60 in an official event, which garnered her the nickname, “Ms. 59.” Annika was the first and only female to cross the $20 Million mark for LPGA career earnings and her total of over $22 million is nearly $6 million more than the next closest competitor. Annika was the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year from 2003-2005, and the Golf Writers Association of America Female Athlete of the Year in 1995, 1997, and from 2000-2005.
Annika stepped away from competitive golf at the end of the 2008 season to further pursue a family and the ANNIKA brand of businesses. She authored her second book Golf Annika’s Way and partnered with Cutter & Buck to develop the ANNIKA Collection, her very own high-end female golf apparel line. The collection has done very well and has grown from two to three lines per year. Annika also has a growing Golf Course Design business with eight projects at various stages of development around the world.