Meet the Hickok Belt Award® Winners

Past Hickok Belt Award ® winners are truly a select group – a veritable who’s who of sports icons. The award has celebrated the incredible careers of leading figures throughout sports. With names like Ali, Mantle, Brown, Namath, Palmer, Phelps and James it is an impressive list to be sure. To learn more about the amazing athletes behind the award including video highlights of their accomplishments, please enjoy the listings below.


Otto Graham (1955)

One of football’s all-time greats, Graham was named to the NFL’s Seventy-Fifth Anniversary team after leading the Cleveland Browns to seven titles. His 105-17-4 record is the best by a quarterback in the history of pro football. The Northwestern University graduate also was a gifted basketball player who was a guard for the Rochester Royals of the National Basketball League, a forerunner to the modern-day NBA. Interestingly, Graham had to be coaxed out of retirement to play for the Browns in 1955, the year he won the Hickok. After retiring, he spent time as a coach and athletic director at the Coast Guard Academy, and also coached briefly in the NFL. He died at age eighty-two in 2003.

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Pitoniak, Scott, Jewel of the Sports World: The Story of the Hickok Belt Award, Rochester New York: RIT Press, Copyright © 2010