Boyd will be recognized at Saturday’s Georgia-LSU football game and will receive the award during the Circle of Honor Gala on Friday, April 11, 2014.
Named for the late Bill Hartman, Georgia’s long-time kicking coach and chairman of the Georgia Student Educational Fund, the Hartman Award is one of the highest honors given to a former UGA student-athlete. The Hartman Award has been presented annually since 1992 and recognizes former Georgia student-athletes who have demonstrated excellence in their profession and/or in service to others by 20 or more years of superior performance after graduation. Only former varsity athletes who have received a baccalaureate degree from Georgia can be considered for the award.
“I am honored to receive this award, especially since it bears the name of a great man in Coach Hartman,” Boyd said. “I got to know him very well when I was at Georgia. He was just so nice to me when I came to Athens. He was a great friend of my father’s and he became a great friend of mine. This means an awful lot to me having his name on it.”
A native of Jacksonville, Boyd won the National Pee-Wee Championship in 1954 and 1956, then captured the Florida state high school championship and was the runner-up in the Southern Amateur in 1959.
He originally signed to play quarterback for Georgia’s football team but decided instead to concentrate on golf. He wrote a letter expressing his desires to Wallace Butts, Georgia’s football coach and athletic director.
Said Boyd, “Coach Butts wired me back and it read, ‘Golf is a great game and I hope you can go to the top. I just put you on a full golf scholarship.’”
Boyd made the most of his golf opportunity, claiming SEC medalist honors in 1962 and becoming only the third player in school history at that time to garner First-Team All-America status. Under Hall of Fame coach Howell Hollis, Boyd helped the Bulldogs win league titles in 1961, 1962 and 1963. Boyd also earned Second-Team All-America honors in 1961 and served as team captain in 1962.
“We really had some great teams,” Boyd said. “My teammates at Georgia are still some of my best friends.”
Boyd earned his degree in insurance and entered his family’s business, The London Group, a specialty risk insurance company in the property casualty area. He and his partner sold the firm in 1972 and he continued as president until 1984 when he and Frank Kinnett co-founded Kinnett and Boyd Inc., a firm specializing in insurance mergers and acquisitions.
After graduation and throughout his career, Boyd remained close to the Georgia program. It was not unusual for Boyd to be in attendance at a tournament in which the Bulldogs were playing. In the summer of 1996, Boyd spearheaded a major fund-raising drive — launching it with a major gift of his own — and Georgia’s golfers reaped the rewards. In the fall of 1998, the Bulldogs and the Lady Bulldogs started honing their games on a state-of-the-art practice facility that features multiple tee boxes overlooking a range with numerous target greens, putting and wedge play areas and three practice bunkers. A few months later, both teams moved into the $600,000 Boyd Golf Center, which includes posh locker rooms, spacious coaches offices, a lounge with a panoramic view of the UGA Golf Course’s ninth and 18th greens, club storage and repair areas, computer work stations and a kitchen. Georgia has since added an indoor practice facility that allows the players to work on their games away from the elements and features video capabilities to help the players and coaches analyze swings.
Since the opening of the Boyd Center and the surrounding amenities, both the Bulldogs (1999, 2005) and the Lady Bulldogs (2001) have won national championships while combining for nine SEC crowns. Boyd was in attendance in 1999 in Minnesota when Coach Chris Haack and his Bulldogs claimed the program’s first NCAA title.
“Nobody loves the University of Georgia more than I do,” Boyd said. “I love that place and I love our golf program. I think the facility we put together has been a helpful aspect. Our golfers and the coaches deserve the best, and I’m happy we were able to do that for them. My teammates and I had always maintained an interest in the program and we all wanted to see the program reach the status that it once had. We could not be happier about the current state of the golf program.”
Previous Hartman Award winners include former NFL quarterback Fran Tarkenton (1992); Atlanta Olympic Committee CEO and Augusta National chairman Billy Payne (1992); former Gov. Carl Sanders (1993); Atlanta developer Tom Cousins (1993); legendary former tennis coach Dan Magill (1994); former high school coach Billy Henderson (1995); former Lt. Gov. Pierre Howard (1996); noted amateur golfer Jimmy Gabrielsen (1997); physician Dr. Andy Roddenbery (1998); Athens businessman Hilton Young Jr. (1999); Harvard University Department of Dermatology Chief of Staff Dr. Becky Birchmore Campen (2000); vascular surgeon Dr. Thomas Lawhorne (2001); endoscopic laser surgeon Dr. Thomas Lyons (2002); neurosurgeon and former team physician Dr. Robert E. Dicks III (2003); Atlanta businessman William Young (2004); longtime juvenile court judge, the Hon. Aaron Cohn (2005); housing developer Keith McSwain (2006); Athens transportation executive Mack H. Guest III (2007); pulmonary and critical care specialist Dr. Kathy McMinn (2008); Coca-Cola executive Frank Ros (2009); college, professional and international basketball standout Teresa Edwards (2010); Georgia swimming head coach Jack Bauerle (2011); and renowned cardiologist Roosevelt Gilliam III (2012).