May 10, 2018

Ted Ruta named 2018 Howard Palmer Award winner

Florida Citrus Sports has selected Ted Ruta of Horizon Resorts, Inc. as the 2018 recipient of the the Howard Palmer Award, the organization’s highest service honor. The award will be presented at this year’s Member Celebration on June 7 at Full Sail Live.

Member Celebration
presented by Florida Hospital
June 7 at 6:30 p.m.


Ruta becomes the 29th recipient of the award, following in the footsteps of notable past winners Bill Dymond, Paul Kennedy, Marshall Vermillion, Harvey Massey and 2017 honoree Lee Corso. The Howard Palmer Award recognizes a “lifetime” of service to Florida Citrus Sports and is a tribute to an individual who continually strives to make significant contributions to the organization and its efforts without regard for personal recognition.

A former football official for the Atlantic Coast and Sun Belt conferences, Ruta has been a member of Florida Citrus Sports since 1994. During bowl week, Ruta coordinates the experience for officials calling the games, a role that won him a 2014-15 Volunteer of the Year award. He is also a member of the Team Selection Committee and helped found the Gridiron Classic, a Florida vs. the Nation collegiate all-star game that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Buoniconti Fund and Rotary Clubs from 1999 through 2005.

“Ted embodies the Howard Palmer Award in every single way,” Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan said. “You think about selfless service to this community and this organization — that’s Ted. When you look at the Rotary Club and the college all-star game, never once did you hear Ted stand up and say, ‘Look at me. I’m really responsible for this. This was my idea.’ He’s just over there working away, figuring out what he can do to help make that more and more successful, and he’s been that way throughout his entire career here at Florida Citrus Sports.”

On the gridiron, Ruta’s officiating career began in 1967, with the Florida High School Athletic Association. Ruta went on to call more than 401 collegiate games, including 1999 Cotton Bowl, 1987 Orange Bowl and 2005 Camping World Bowl, then known as the Champs Sports Bowl. A Florida State graduate, Ruta has been a member of Rotary International since 1978 and previously served as president of the Titusville Rotary Club. In 2011, he also received the Outstanding Football Official Award from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

Florida Citrus Sports members receive free admission to Member Celebration for themselves and one guest. To RSVP for the event, click here.

Past Howard Palmer Award Winners:

2018    Ted Ruta
2017      Lee Corso
2016      Chuck Rohe
2015       Ford Kiene
2014       Paul Kennedy
2013       Charlie Miller
2012       Bill Sullivan
2011       Rich Fildes
2010       Harvey Massey
2009       Bill Dymond
2008       Marshall Vermillion
2007       Mike Vestal
2006       Pat Bishop
2005       Royce Walden
2004       Simon Snyder
2003       Dennis Braziel
2002       Yogi Moore
2001      George Nahas
2000       Bill Becker
1999       Tommy Thompson
1998       Tom McCoy
1997       Chuck Heard
1996       Garneta Swenson
1995       Jeff Clark
1994       Bob Matheison
1993       Elmer Cook
1992       Vernon Hinely
1991       Debby Sweeney
1990       Tom Quattry

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