Award Winner Profile

Edwin Watts

Edwin Watts 2022 Colonel Al Byrne Award

Award: Colonel Al Byrne

Award Year: 2022

The All Sports Association was started by Colonel Al Byrne, who believed the youth in Northwest Florida should have the coaching, leadership, and facilities needed to participate in sports. The Colonel Al Byrne Award was established to honor those who share his beliefs and who put those beliefs into action.

The Colonel Al Byrne Award was presented to Edwin Watts on February 25, 2022, at the 53rd All Sports Association Awards Program. Watts is a life-long resident of our area. As a young golf professional, Watts donated his time to provide free golf clinics to encourage juniors to get involved in the game. These clinics were a predecessor to today’s “First Tee” program. This tradition of free clinics hosted by Watts or his staff continued for more than 30 years.

Watts also offered free group clinics to wives of military personnel. This was especially significant during the Vietnam War, providing a much needed distraction from the stress of family separations.

Watts sponsored numerous youth basketball, baseball, and soccer teams, often providing financial support anonymously. Watts would say that God had blessed him financially, and he wanted to do all he could to help young people. Watts was the founder of the Jaycees Junior Golf Tournament, which became the Marvin Debolt / Northwest Florida Daily News Classic, the premier junior tournament in our area.

Now retired from the golf business, Watts and his band, “The Mulligans,” play for area charity events, supporting such groups as Fisher House and Fresh Start for Women and Families. For his 50 years of devotion to youth athletics and to our community, All Sports Association is pleased to recognize Edwin Watts as recipient of the 2022 Al Byrne Award.