Santonio Holmes to be 2019 Built Ford Tough
Palm Beach County Football Legends Award Honoree
BOCA RATON, Fla. (December 13, 2019) – Former Glades Central High School and NFL wide receiver Santonio Holmes will receive this year’s Built Ford Tough Palm Beach County Football Legends Award. Holmes will attend and be recognized at the bowl game’s annual luncheon on Friday, Dec. 20.
“We are proud to honor Santonio Holmes with the Built Ford Tough Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl Football Legends Awards this year. We admire his dedication on and off the field, as he builds awareness to Sickle Cell Disease and supports families in need. Santonio truly embodies what this award stands for,” said Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl Executive Director Doug Mosley.
Born on March 3, 1984, in Belle Glade, Florida, Santonio Holmes overcame an impoverished upbringing to become a professional football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and Chicago Bears. In 2008, the gifted wide receiver was named Super Bowl XLIII MVP after making the game-winning touchdown catch. Holmes is the father of four children, Saniya, Savannah, Nicori, and Santonio Holmes III, the inspiration for the III & Long Foundation.
Holmes attended Ohio State University where he became a key receiver and kick returner for the Buckeyes. In 2005, Holmes recorded 53 catches for 977 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning selection to the first All-Big Ten team. In the 2006 NFL Draft, Holmes was selected with the 25th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite being undersized at 5’11” and approximately 190 pounds, Holmes proved that he had the speed and skills to be a successful pro wide receiver. He averaged an NFL-best 18.7 yards per catch in 2007, then enjoyed a dream finish to the 2008 season by making the winning touchdown catch with 35 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIII. The following year, he compiled a career-best 1,248 receiving yards.
From the time his son, Santonio “TJ” Holmes III, was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease, Holmes has been actively involved in supporting research and helping with financial assistance for families battling the disease. In 2009, he sold the gloves he used to make the winning touchdown catch in Super Bowl XLIII for $70,200 and donated the money to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. Understanding and experiencing the financial and emotional challenges associated with SCD, Holmes’ advocacy led him to form his own foundation, III & Long, dedicated to building awareness about SCD and supporting families in need.
The Built Ford Tough Palm Beach County Football Legends Award is an annual highlight of the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl week. It was created to recognize the rich history of football in Palm Beach County. Previous honorees were:
2014 Howard Schnellenberger, former Florida Atlantic University head coach
2015 Reidel Anthony, Glades Central HS wide receiver
2016 John Carney, Cardinal Newman HS placekicker
2017 Steve Walsh, former Cardinal Newman HS head coach
2018 Brad Banks, former Glades Central HS and University of Iowa quarterback
About the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl: 2019 Game Moves to New Day, Time and Network
After spending five years on the Tuesday evening before Christmas and being aired on ESPN, the 2019 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl will kick off in the Florida sunshine on Saturday afternoon, December 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET at FAU Stadium and will broadcast nationally on ABC as well as on ESPN Radio and locally on ESPN 106.3 FM. The bowl game has conference tie-ins with teams from Conference USA, the American Athletic Conference and the Mid-American Athletic Conference.
As one of 41 postseason college bowl games in the country and one of 15 owned and operated by ESPN Events (a division of ESPN) the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl is the only one hosted in Palm Beach County. As a celebrated annual holiday tradition in Boca Raton and Palm Beach County that lives up to its other name, ‘Boca’s Biggest Annual Outdoor Party’, the event features all the pomp and circumstance of traditional bowl events. It is a high-energy, entertaining experience for both college football fans and non-fans alike and allows the national spotlight to shine on Boca Raton and Palm Beach County. Bowl week activities will begin on Tuesday, December 17 with the arrival of the participating teams; days, times and sites for the team welcome parties, beach parties, luncheon, pep rallies and other bowl week activities will be released at a later date. For more info, visit www.CheribundiBocaRatonBowl.com and/or follow through social media on Facebook (Facebook.com/BocaBowl), Twitter (@BocaBowl), and Instagram (@BocaBowl).
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 34 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, the FCS opening-weekend game, 16 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and Tampa, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
A special thank you to Duffy’s Sports Bar and Grill for being the official Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl After Party Sponsor.