Palm Beach County Sports Commission Presents

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award

Palm Beach Sports


During the past 20 years, many things have helped mold college football into the game that it is today. Near the top of that list is the increased importance of the kicking game.

It used to be that place-kickers were local, non-scholarship athletes who made good. Now, top high school and prep kickers are as highly recruited as some quarterbacks and wide receivers.

With national championships often won or lost on one swing of the leg, the importance of having a top kicker cannot be understated.

The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award annually recognizes college football’s top place-kicker.









Utah Kicker Matt Gay Wins
The Lou Groza Award

During the live Home Depot College Football Awards on December 7th, 2017, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced University of Utah junior Matt Gay as the winner of the 2017 National Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award.

"I’d like to thank the Palm Beach County Sports Commission for this honor,” said Gay. “I am proud to be nominated this year along with Daniel and Dominik, two very talented kickers. I’m so honored and appreciative of this award.”

Gay led the nation in field goals this season, along with topping many other categories. Connecting on 27 of his 31 attempts this year, the junior set a new Utah single-season record and finished the year with two more makes than any other kicker in the country. But his season is about much more than just that one number. The 27 makes include five field goals from at least 50 yards out, tied for the most in the nation. Those long distance kicks include not one but two connections from 56 yards out, tied for the longest field goals by regular FBS kickers this year. Against San Jose State, he connected from 56 and 50 in the same game, along with two more field goals and six PATs for an 18-point performance. His other 4-for-4 field goal game was even more important, as he provided nearly all the scoring against rival BYU in a 19-13 Holy War victory. In all, he made multiple field goals in nine games this year, racking up seven games with double-digit points. His 118 points are the fourth-most by a kicker this season, and he’s the only kicker in the top fifteen with fewer than 40 extra point attempts. Instead, his points have come the hard way, as he tied for the national lead in field goals both from at least 50 yards and 40 yards this season. An incredible 18 of his makes are from 30 yards or longer, the highest total in the nation.

Gay beat out Auburn senior Daniel Carlson and Utah State sophomore Dominik Eberle for the award. Carlson is the first ever three-time Groza finalist and the second-leading scorer in FBS history. Eberle made 96.8% of his total kicks, the third-best mark among kickers with 15 field goals.

Gay is the first Groza winner from Utah and second finalist, joining Louie Sakoda in 2008. The national panel of voters is comprised of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists, and current NFL kickers. Since the first Lou Groza Award was handed out in 1992, 25 finalists, including 14 winners, have gone on to appear in the NFL, earning nine trips to the Pro Bowl and taking home five Super Bowls.

About the National College Football Awards Association
The Lou Groza Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 22 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935.  Visit to learn more about our story.

About Palm Beach County Sports Commission
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by Palm Beach County to promote and market the County as a sports and sports tourism destination. The Commission brings sporting events and activities to the County, enhances economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues (primarily in the off-season), and maximizes utilization of County facilities. The Commission offers a full range of event service support, corporate partnerships, sponsorships and a local membership program that support its goals. Local, regional, national and international marketing efforts are ongoing by the Commission with sports organizations and event owners. The Commission also produces sports-related programs for the residents of Palm Beach County including the annual Lou Groza Award program, the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame and the Kids Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, go to











Photos from this years banquet!







Palm Beach County Sports Commission

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(561) 233-3180
Palm Beach County Sports Commission

2195 Southern Blvd.
Suite 550
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Fax: (561) 233-3125



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