An honor only awarded a mere 22 times in the history of the National Junior College Athletic Association was bestowed upon Steve Winterling during the NJCAA Annual Awards Dinner April 13 in Charlotte, N.C. 

Winterling, athletics director for Pasco-Hernando State College, is the 1st in Florida and the FCSAA Region 8 to receive the award. 

“It was an honor to be recognized by Dr. Christopher Parker, President and CEO of the NJCAA for upholding the ideals of this organization for 33 years and to find out I’m the first person from the FCSAA Region 8 to receive the award made it more special,” said Winterling. 

The Loyalty Award is given to an active athletic director in the NJCAA that has worked to uphold the ideals of the organization. Significant to this award is leadership in an athletic program exemplifying excellence both on the field or court and in the classroom. 

“I think being there for our student-athletes and their academic success is very important and has always been a high priority for us,” said Winterling. 

Winterling has served as the athletics director at Pasco-Hernando State College since 2018 and was the head baseball coach for the Bobcats for 27 years prior. Winterling started Pasco-Hernando State's first intercollegiate baseball team in March 1991 and in 1994 took the Bobcats to its first FCSAA State Tournament where they finished state runner-up. In 1995, the program won the Suncoast Conference and made its second appearance in the state tournament. He built the Pasco-Hernando State College athletics program by recruiting quality student-athletes to play against top competition throughout the state of Florida. Over 30 players have signed professional contracts and many others have gone on to outstanding four-year institutions. 

Winterling is also heavily involved on the national level as the Chair of the NJCAA Division II Softball Committee and a member of the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Committee.

Throughout his career in athletics, he has carried out exceptional service to his players. In 2021, Winterling was selected into the FCSAA Hall of Fame, and in 2022 was inducted into the Paso-Hernando State Walk of Fame. 

“I enjoy watching them compete, but mainly getting to see their journey and know them as people,” said Winterling.