COURTESY: FLORIDA A&M SPORTS INFORMATION
TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- If you mention the name Teddy Floyd on Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (FAMU) campus, you may send minds wandering. If you say the name “Kool Breeze,” it will bring smiles to many of their faces. A member of former Coach Rudy Hubbard’s football team from 1982-1985, Floyd was a popular figure on campus.
Although he has been honored by several organizations over the years, his recognition reached the pinnacle this year as President Barack Obama bestowed the President’s Volunteer Service Award on him for his deeds. He was awarded the Gold Award, the highest of the presidential volunteer awards for service.
He was known for his wit, dancing skills, and his all around fun-loving persona. What he does now, though, is no laughing matter. Floyd has taken the lead in the Vero Beach community as the Indian River deputy sheriff and crime prevention practitioner, building relationships between law enforcement and citizens, rebuilding homes in the community, and saving lives along the way.
Floyd graduated from Orange Park High School in Jacksonville, Fla., before attending FAMU. An athletic linebacker, Floyd had a solid career on the gridiron. But, it is his degree in criminal justice from Florida A&M University that serves him to this day.
“When I came to the place they call “the highest of seven hills” in Tallahassee, I was an energetic young man. My focus at the time was just like any other teen entering college,” Floyd said.
It would be his experience with Hubbard that would guide his career path.
“I can’t express enough how proud I am of what he’s done. I just recently began to hear about all the good things he’s done in the community and it fits with what I always felt about him…that he was a good guy,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard recalled Floyd’s time at FAMU.
“Teddy was always full speed. There might have been a few players that may have had more talent than him in college, but nobody would outwork him, so I’m not surprised by all of the good he is doing right now,” Hubbard said.
Floyd has logged thousands of hours of community service in Vero Beach, where he has served for 26 years. The main organization he works with is called “Every Dream Has a Price.” One of his main partners in the endeavors he undertakes is Julianne Price, who works with the Indian River Health Department. He also volunteers his time with Shop With A Cop, the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, the United Way, Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, Treasure Coast Stampede of Vero Beach, Habitat for Humanity, and several others organizations.
Volunteering numerous hours after work and on weekends, he still makes time to coach youth football. His philosophy is that if he can get to kids at a younger and more influential age, he can help foster great results.
What’s the driving force behind Floyd’s success? It’s simple, he says.
“Coach Hubbard used to always say ‘You’ve got to do the right thing,’” Floyd recalled. “For some reason that has stuck with me throughout my professional career. I live by that. Whenever I’m involved in something, this seems to echo in my head. I don’t know if coach even knows how powerful this simple statement is,” he said.
Hubbard is thrilled with the results of sowing seeds into the minds of his former players.
“You never know what effect your words are having on athletes. What Teddy is saying sounds exactly like statements that Nate Newton, former football player, has made in recent years. It does my heart good to know that things I said resonated with these young men to the point that they adopted it as grown men. Some guys picked it up right away, but for some guys it took on more meaning as they got into the real world,” Hubbard said.
Floyd was inspired to get involved in the community by Price, who was doing similar work. Floyd was known for taking down known drug houses, particularly abandoned homes used for drug trafficking, housing stolen goods, and prostitution. Floyd has leveled several abandoned homes in Indian River County as part of his objectives.
“I was working for the health department in the community and I heard about this officer who was famous for his work in the community. Since then, we’ve knocked down over 100 houses,” Price said.
While he is famous for knocking down homes, he is much more proud of the homes he’s helped to restore and build in the community. With partners such as Florida Blue and other corporations, the necessary funding is a vital part of his restoration effort. Currently, he and Price are overseeing one of his most prized projects, the construction of a veterans’ duplex for homeless veterans in the Vero Beach area.
COURTESY FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION