Honors one of the all-time great kickers
The award is named in honor of one of the all-time great kickers in football history, Lou Groza. After serving in World War II, Groza signed with the Cleveland Browns in 1946. A six-time all-pro tackle, Groza really earned his fame, and his famous nickname, “The Toe,” as a kicker. In 1950 Groza won the NFL championship game for the Browns by kicking a field goal with 28 seconds left. That was just the first of what would turn out to be four championships that Groza and the Cleveland Browns shared.
Played for 21 seasons
Groza would go on to play for 21 seasons with Cleveland until he retired in 1967 as the last of the “original” Browns. During his career, Groza set numerous franchise records, including most games played, most points scored, and an amazing 107 consecutive games in which he scored a point. The 1,608 career points he scored is still a Browns’ franchise record, and he ranks third all-time in league history.
Lou was a nine-time all-pro and won an amazing eight championships, four in the AAFC (1946-1949) and four in the NFL (1950, 1954-1955, 1964). He was named as NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Groza was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974, and is one of only five Cleveland Browns to have his number, 76, retired. After a long and illustrious life, Groza passed away in 2000 at the age of 76.
Lou left a legacy that is still unmatched in NFL history. The name, Lou Groza is etched into football immortality. The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award is a tribute to his life, his accomplishments and the challenge he left to aspiring kickers today.