COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Former Maryland track and field student-athlete and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Florent “Flo” Groberg will be honored with the NCAA Award of Valor, the NCAA announced Friday.
Groberg will be honored with the NCAA’s Award of Valor during the NCAA Honors Celebration on Wednesday, Jan. 18, in Nashville, Tennessee. This award is given to a student-athlete, coach or administrator who, when confronted with a situation involving personal danger, averted or minimized potential disaster by courageous action. The award is not presented annually, but in the event of an outstanding act of valor.
“We are thrilled that Flo will receive such a distinguished honor,” director of athletics Kevin Anderson said. “He exemplifies the principles of courage and selflessness that we all strive to embody. We hope that all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff can find inspiration from his heroic actions. We are proud that he is a Terp.”
Groberg competed for Maryland as a member of the track and field and cross country teams from 2003-to-2006 as a distance specialist. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice.
“Flo’s legacy at Maryland continues to extend beyond his athletic career,” track and field head coach Andrew Valmon said. “He’s an inspiration to us and we’re proud of all he’s accomplished. I hope that all of the young women and men can learn from him.”
Captain Groberg is the tenth living recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan. The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor a United States serviceman can receive. On November 12, 2015, Groberg received the Medal of Honor for his heroic action in Afghanistan from President Obama.
On the morning of August 8, 2012, Groberg served as a personal security detachment (PSD) commander for Task Force Mountain Warrior in Kunar, Afghanistan. While on patrol, Groberg noticed a suicide bomber at the rear of his company’s formation, and tackled him out of the way as the device detonated. Groberg's actions prevented the bombers from detonating their devices as planned, which could have killed many more on the patrol.
The Bethesda, Md. native has been touring around the country since receiving the honor this past fall, which has included an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, recognition at a Maryland football game, speaking with veterans’ groups and throwing out the first pitch at a Chicago Cubs game. Groberg spoke at the Democratic National Convention in August.
Groberg has also returned to campus as a speaker at Maryland’s 2015 winter commencement ceremony. He served as the honorary starter for the alumni mile at Maryland’s Jim Kehoe Twilight Meet in the spring.