National Football Foundation- Walter J. Zable San Diego Chapter

The National Football Foundation (NFF) is a national organization that promotes and celebrates the complete scholar athlete primarily through recognition and scholarships. The Walter J. Zable / San Diego Chapter is one of the 120 chapters of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.  Our chapter was established in 1971 to ensure that all young San Diego athletes have the chance to develop leadership qualities, learn about teamwork, sportsmanship, competitive zeal and the drive for academic excellence.  We award over $40k of scholarships annually through our individual and corporate sponsors.

Each year we also celebrate the life of Willie Jones by honoring one deserving nominee with the Willie Jones Most Inspirational Award. Willie was a decorated San Diego athlete and honor student from Lincoln High School who was tragically killed on June 17, 1994. Click to read more about Willie Jones.

For over the past 50 years, the Walter J. Zable/San Diego Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame has been honoring football scholar-athletes. The program’s success is a tribute to the excellent academic and athletic opportunities available in San Diego. Scholarship opportunities will be available to our scholar-leader-athlete recipients.  

Every year since 1995, the NFF/SDC has selected one player for the Willie Jones Most Inspirational Player award. This award is given to a student athlete who has overcome major adversity in their life and has gone on to succeed both in the classroom and on the field.

Each year, we request every high school to nominate its most deserving football scholar-athlete based on three criteria:

  • (1) academic achievement (minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA) – 40%;
  • (2) football athletic ability (1st or 2nd Team All-League selection preferred) – 40%; and, (
  • 3) campus leadership and citizenship – 20%