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George Michael Steinbrenner III

Inducted 2004

High school athletics in Florida owes a debt of gratitude to George Steinbrenner. While he is best known as the principal owner of the 26-time world champion New York Yankees, Steinbrenner has been a major contributor to interscholastic athletics over his 30-year residence in Florida. His contributions include bringing the FHSAA Baseball Finals to Legends Field in Tampa in 1997, donating $200,000 to Hillsborough County to reestablish the middle school athletic program, and donating funds to help underprivileged youth with the cost of participation in high school athletics.

Steinbrenner often comes to the aid of strangers in distress. After reading about a high school athlete’s accidental death and the family’s financial struggle, he paid for the complete funeral and burial expenses. Steinbrenner also purchased new instruments when a Florida high school band had its instruments stolen. He arranged transportation for a group of children and treated them to lunch when their bus broke down en route to Busch Gardens.

Sports are a lifelong passion for Steinbrenner. He ran track and played football for Culver Military Academy in Indiana, and continued his track career at Williams College in Massachusetts. Steinbrenner served in the United States Air Force for two years before becoming a high school basketball and football coach in Ohio, and was an assistant football coach at Northwestern and Purdue universities. He assembled championship basketball teams in the National Industrial and American Basketball Leagues, and operates a successful thoroughbred horse farm in Ocala.

Steinbrenner has served as the vice president of the U.S. Olympic Committee and is a member of the NCAA Foundation Board of Directors. He is the recipient of the 2002 USOC General Douglas MacArthur Award, the New Yorker of the Year Award, and the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s Gold Medal. George Steinbrenner High School (Lutz) was opened in Hillsborough County in 2009 in his honor.