Modern Day Renaissance Man

USF student-athlete Chaz Hine was honored in NYC as a National Football Foundation Scholar.


By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 9, 2011) – There’s more to the University of South Florida graduate student who will sing the national anthem at the university’s commencement ceremonies this weekend than his formidable operatic voice.


Listen to Chaz Hine sing the USF Alma Mater at commencement.


For College of Business senior Gilbert “Chaz” Hine, the classroom, the playing field and the stage are places to excel in a big way, making him something of a renaissance man for our times.


Well-deserved national recognition was inevitable.


Hine was honored as one of 16 scholars at the 54th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner in New York City Tuesday night at the Waldorf-Astoria because the multi-talented and multi-faceted football player meets the criteria of outstanding scholar-athlete – at the national level.


At the black tie event with 1600 guests, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates was given the NFF’s Gold Medal, its highest honor and he gave a powerful speech about the important role athletics plays on college campuses.


“I completely agreed with Dr. Gates,” Hine said. “Football has the capacity to bring an entire campus of tens of thousands of students together for a singular purpose. Often, football's influence reaches further into the communities, states and the nation, claiming fans from all walks of life, interested in the success of a small group of 100 young men.”


He went on to say, “Football's influence gives the young men, coaches, and administrators involved great power. With that power, these individuals can influence the perceptions of higher education, athletics, character and the interaction between the three.”


The NFF scholarship follows the starting offensive guard’s being named to the Big East All-Academic team in 2009 and ESPN Academic All-District team in 2010. 


Hine is known as a mentor and leader on the field. And then there’s the classroom. The Honors College student is a member of the invitation-only honor society for business students, Beta Gamma Sigma, and has earned several academic scholarships.

If that weren’t enough to keep him busy, Hine has had leading roles onstage in “Les Misérables,” “Grease,” and “Hello, Dolly.” With leading man good looks reminiscent of a young Elvis Presley his fans might be disappointed to find out he’s spoken for. Hine is engaged to his high school sweetheart. 


Certainly all of his interests would make for a full life, but Hine also has a humanitarian side. He is one of the founding members of the Student Coalition Against Homelessness and Poverty and he is a member of the student-led campus ministry, Disciples for Life. How does he do it?


“I just prioritize and try to stay focused on the task at hand until completion,” said Hine. “I am fortunate to have a fantastic support network around me including professors, coaches, family members, teammates and my fiancé. My social life might take a backseat to academics and sports, but that price is well worth the return in the end.”


Those who know him are impressed.


“When you look at how Chaz Hine lives his life, you find all the elements of greatness,” said Honors College Dean Stuart Silverman. “I believe he’s just getting started on a path that will bring him to the world stage where he will get to use the leadership skills we nurture here at USF and we’ll continue to be proud of him well into the future.”


Hine’s plans for the future are impressive as well.


“In the spring, I will train for NFL opportunities while continuing MBA classes at USF. If the NFL does not work out, I will continue with MBA classes and earn my graduate degree, pursue internships and finally, a ‘real job.’ In addition, I will pursue some kind of television network talent show, like “America's Got Talent” or “American Idol,” when my time in the NFL is over.”


The thoughtful scholar athlete and singer lives what he believes.


“If someone were to ask me how I have become successful, I would tell them two principles that have helped to govern my life. Believe in yourself and refuse to give in to the pressures of this world. And work as though God were watching, because He certainly is.”


Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. For more information, please visit

Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.