Larry Fitzgerald of Academy of Holy Angels (AHA) Class of 2001 won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award on Saturday, February 4th as part of Super Bowl weekend in Houston, TX. Fitzgerald and Eli Manning were named co-winner of this year’s award. The award recognizes players for their performance on the field and for their charitable work.
Fitzgerald attended AHA from 1998 to 2001 where he played football, basketball, and track and field. He played many positions under his former football coach, Mike Pendino, and eventually became the top receiver in the state in his junior and senior seasons. Since then, the current wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals has been an on-going supporter of Academy of Holy Angels, hosting football camps and supporting the school in a variety of other ways. On a larger scale, Fitzgerald has been a spokesman for the American Cancer Society during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and worked on initiatives that have brought computer labs, upgraded parks and facilities, and advanced football helmets to schools in both Minneapolis and Phoenix.
"Larry was one of our brightest stars. As a student, he was very well-liked by students and staff alike and excelled in so many areas,” recalls Jesse Foley, alumni director, who coached Fitzgerald in basketball. “Those of us who are fortunate enough to call Larry a friend are most proud about how he has used his God-given abilities to make an impact. His generosity of time and resources have helped children and communities across the globe. And the fact that he gives back each year to AHA and helps our students means the world to us."