Lochte Wins Pro Athlete of Year at PNC Bank SPORTYS @ Full Sail University

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A crowd of more than 350 of Central Florida’s sports elite were on hand to experience the PNC Bank SPORTYS @ Full Sail University, which took place on Saturday, September 24 at Full Sail Live. Hosted by the Central Florida Sports Commission, the inaugural event honored the top area high school, amateur, collegiate and professional athletes, coaches, deserving local residents and businesses throughout Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties.

Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2011 from left to right: Ricky Watters, Glenn “Doc” Rivers and Chuck Rohe. Also pictured from left to right: Garry Jones – Full Sail University President, Ray White – PNC Wealth Management Senior Vice President & Wealth Management Director and Sam Stark – Central Florida Sports Commission President & CEO.

Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame inductions and the Inaugural PNC Bank SPORTYS at Full Sail University

”We were proud to serve as the host location for this year’s Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame inductions and the Inaugural PNC Bank SPORTYS at Full Sail University,” said Garry Jones, president of Full Sail University.

Ryan Lochte, one of the most decorated US swimmers in history and the 2010 World Swimmer of the Year, took home the SPORTY for Professional Athlete of the Year, beating out Dwight Howard and Yani Tseng for the award. A Volusia County native and graduate of Spruce Creek High School, Lochte was thrilled to be recognized here in Central Florida.

"I'm a Florida boy for life," he said. "It definitely is a great honor."

A crowd of more than 350 of Central Florida’s sports elite were on hand to experience the PNC Bank SPORTYS @ Full Sail University, which took place on Saturday, September 24 at Full Sail Live. Hosted by the Central Florida Sports Commission, the inaugural event honored the top area high school, amateur, collegiate and professional athletes, coaches, deserving local residents and businesses throughout Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties.

Other SPORTY winners were: Amateur Athlete – Marvin Bracy, High School Athlete – Austin Rivers, College Athlete – Jeff Godfrey, Coach of the Year – Anthony Jones, Business of the Year – ESPN Wide World of Sports, Employee of the Year – Tom Synder, Volunteer of the Year – Shawn Cavalieri, and Rich DeVos Community Spirit Award – Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.

During the show, Glenn “Doc” Rivers was inducted into the 2011 Class of the Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame. Doc Rivers began his coaching career with the Orlando Magic in 1999. In 4-plus seasons with the Magic, he won the coach of the year award in 2000 and made the playoffs in 3 seasons. Current coach of the Boston Celtics, Rivers continues to make his home in Central Florida and supports local charities through his annual celebrity golf tournament.

“I can’t tell you how excited and humbled I am to be inducted into the Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame, especially taken into account past recipients of this prestigious honor,” said Doc Rivers. “This is an incredibly humbling moment for me and I am grateful to be part of Central Florida sports history.”

Joining Rivers in the 2011 Class of the Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame are Ricky Watters and Chuck Rohe. Watters, a 5-time pro bowl NFL running back and Super Bowl champion with the 49ers, currently lives in Orlando where he is the CEO of Ricky Watters Sports Management and spends time as a motivational speaker and mentor for at-risk and foster youth. The long time CEO of Florida Citrus Sports, Chuck Rohe was instrumental in updating and upgrading the Citrus Bowl in the early 1990s. Without his vision and commitment, Orlando could not host such great events, including two of the best bowl games in the country.

“We are very excited to merge what is a great sports tradition in the Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame, with a new sports tradition, the SPORTYS, to create a spectacular event featuring all that is great about Central Florida sports,” said Sam Stark, president of the Central Florida Sports Commission. “Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the SPORTYS and our newest members of the Hall of Fame!”

The Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame is the continuation of a great regional sports tradition, where 80 other Central Floridians have been honored for their distinguished accomplishments within professional and amateur sports since 1981. The 2011 class joins past inductees including Arnold Palmer, Dot Richardson, Nick Anderson, Chris DiMarco and Chipper Jones, in a permanent display located on the terrace level of the Amway Center.

”We were proud to serve as the host location for this year’s Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame inductions and the Inaugural PNC Bank SPORTYS at Full Sail University,” said Garry Jones, president of Full Sail University. “It has truly been an honor to be a part of this celebration which recognized and acknowledged a tremendous group of individuals who have committed to athletic excellence.”

About the Central Florida Sports Commission:
The Central Florida Sports Commission strategically solicits, creates and supports marquis sports-related events and business that enhance our community’s economy.

http://www.centralfloridasports.org
http://www.facebook.com/cflsports

About Full Sail University:
Full Sail University is an award-winning educational leader for those pursuing careers in the entertainment and media industry. Founded in 1979, Full Sail has been recognized as one of the Top Five Game Degree Programs by Electronic Gaming Monthly, one of the Best Music Programs by Rolling Stone Magazine, and one of the Best Film Programs by UNleashed Magazine. In 2011, Full Sail received the “21st Century Best Practices in Distance Learning Award” from the United States Distance Learning Association, was named the “School/College of the Year” by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges, and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Social Media Colleges by Studentadvisor.com.

Full Sail offers Master, Bachelor, and Associate campus and online degree programs in areas related to animation, art, business, education, graphic design, film, marketing, web development, music, recording arts, sports, and video games. Full Sail graduate credits include work on OSCAR®, Emmy®, GRAMMY®, ADDY®, MTV Video Music Award, and Spike Video Game Award nominated and winning projects.

http://www.fullsail.edu
http://www.twitter.com/fullsailupdate
http://www.facebook.com/fullsailuniversity

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