November 2007 Issue
Bringing Home a Winner
There aren’t many places that can boast about being the permanent home of a Heisman Trophy. But thanks to Dick Kazmaier, Maumee High School can do just that.
Kazmaier won the Heisman, awarded annually to the outstanding college football player in the country, in 1951 while playing for Princeton. He donated it to his high school alma mater this fall.
“It’s a fitting place for the trophy,” Kazmaier says. “I think it’s a great place for it to be.”
|Dick Kazmaier donated his Heisman Trophy to his alma mater.
The 77-year-old, who graduated in 1948, still has strong ties to his hometown: For 17 years, The Dick Kazmaier Scholarship Fund has provided money to send student athletes from Maumee to college. Kazmaier, who resides in Key Largo, Florida, returns there for an annual golf outing and other events to commemorate the scholarship fund.
“Maumee played a very important part in my life,” Kazmaier says. “It’s a very meaningful place for me.” While at Maumee High, Kazmaier won 17 varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball, track and golf.
The Heisman now resides in a recently built trophy case at the high school.
“Words can’t describe it,” says Maumee Schools superintendent Gregory Smith about the recent acquisition. “It’s very exciting.”
Smith’s father, George, played football with Kazmaier at Maumee, and the two remain friends today.
“They get together a couple of times a year,” Smith says. “I grew up looking at the yearbooks. I’ve gotten to know Dick in the last 10 or 12 years. For him to come back here as often as he does shows he has a warm spot for Maumee.”
Football fans who visit the school will get an opportunity most people never have –– an up-close and personal look at the Heisman.
“Hopefully, this will serve as an inspiration for young people to know that someone from a small town can be successful at anything they put their minds to,” Kazmaier says.
— Steve Herrick