Legendary football player and humanitarian Lee Roy Selmon was honored by a state resolution designating October 20 as Lee Roy Selmon Day across the state of Florida. On Friday Selmon's widow Claybra and their children were on hand at One Buccaneer Place to officially receive the honor.
Friday at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, several leaders in the community gathered to announce that October 20 2012 would be known as Lee Roy Selmon Day in Florida. In attendance were Lee Roy Selmon’s widow Claybra and their three kids. The family was presented with the official state resolution naming October 20, 2012 as Lee Roy Selmon Day.
Selmon passed away in September of last year after suffering a stroke.
Selmon was drafted by the Buccaneers in the first round of the 1976 draft and had an impressive impact on the field for Tampa Bay, but his post football career was just as beneficial to the Tampa Bay community . After his football career ended, he later became the University of South Florida’s associate athletic director from 1993-2001, before becoming the school’s athletic director until he retired in 2004.
Dr. Judy Genshaft, President of the University of South Florida, spoke about Lee Roy and the impact he had on the campus. She spoke on how he was not only interested in the students’ academics, but also their individual lives.
“Lee Roy’s legacy at the University of South Florida is long and enduring and strong,” Genshaft said. “ He is not just one of the iconic figures in our campus history, but a lasting influence in our values and our vision and our purpose. There is not a better word than integrity when you mention Lee Roy and how he has left us.
“Lee Roy was truly dedicated to USF students and their success. Not just on the playing field or on the court, but in all aspects of life. He continues to influence our campus environment. Our campus community in large ways and small from scholarships to mentoring programs to his name on the Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center.”
Stephen Diaco, chairman of the Tampa Expressway Authority, who was mentored by Lee Roy and knew him since he was a young boy also spoke about Lee Roy and the type of man he was. Lee Roy was a great role model.
“He really helped lead me to become the man I am,” Diaco said. “When I think of Lee Roy I think of words like strength, courage, leadership, service, charity, compassion, empathy, education, faith and most importantly family.”
Bryan Glazer spoke highly of the former No. 1 draft pick Buccaneer who he believes was a significant part of the team’s franchise.
“To say that Lee Roy Selmon was the first Buccaneer, the first Buccaneer hall of famer or the first ring of honor inductee surely demonstrates his significance to this franchise,” Glazer said.
“However, I will take it a step further by saying that Lee Roy Selmon put the Buccaneers and even Tampa Bay on the map. It was more than his dominant play on the field that made him the everlasting face of this franchise; it was his incredible heart and inherent goodness. It was his drive to have a positive impact wherever he went and his humility throughout all of it.”
Claybra Selmon mentioned how it was bittersweet to be there, but that she was grateful to see how the community that her husband loved so much came together to show the love that they had for him.
“It is very emotional to be here. I am so happy and thankful. This is very bittersweet, but mostly sweet. [I] just miss Lee Roy being here to witness all of this.
“It is wonderful to see that the state and the city [is] saluting Lee Roy for the things that he has done in this community. The way that he gave himself away to the city and the state of Florida. Lee Roy was devoted to this community in a very public way and it is nice to see that love returned to him.”
Saturday October 20, 2012, is Lee Roy Selmon day in Florida. It is a day that communities – especially the Tampa one – will take a moment to reflect on and be thankful for all that a man did for them. Not just in regards to football, but in regards to life as well.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.