April 29, 2014
STORRS, Conn. -
Ken Sweitzer, who remains one of the most decorated student-athletes in the history of University of Connecticut football and is now a successful businessman and a valuable member of the community, received the Red O'Neill Award from The UConn Club on Monday night.
The award was given at the group's 61st Annual Awards Dinner held at Gampel Pavilion. It is presented each year to a former UConn student-athlete who has gone from the fields and courts of play to distinguish themselves in their chosen careers. It is named after 1925 UConn graduate and former football student-athlete Martin "Red" O'Neill, who later went on to a successful career in medicine.
Sweitzer, a native of Madison, Conn., was named the Yankee Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 1981. Sweitzer earned All-Yankee Conference honors five times during his career at three different positions - wide receiver in 1979, quarterback in 1980 and '81 and also punter in '81.
He was also a First Team All-New England pick in 1981 as a quarterback and All-ECAC as a punter the same year.
Sweitzer completed his collegiate career as the holder of 18 different school records at UConn. He remains fourth in career total offense (6,126) and fourth in passing yardage (4,949). He signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys following his senior year.
Sweitzer was named as a member of UConn's 100th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1998. He also received the UConn Club Outstanding Student-Athlete Award in 1982.
He is the owner of Sweitzer Insurance, LLC, located in Old Saybrook, Conn. He has enjoyed a 31-year career as a life insurance and annuity income specialist. Sweitzer was named a top advisor by Advisors Excel, a world-class insurance marketing organization focused on helping independent advisors increase their life insurance and annuity business, in 2011, '12 and '13.
Sweitzer is also on the Advisory Committee for Shoreline Bank and Trust Company in Madison, Conn.
An active member of the community, he has been a 15-year member of the Board of Directors of the Children's Center of Hamden. He served as that group's vice president from 2005-07 and has chaired the group's golf tournament, which has raised more than $300,000 over the past 15 years.
Sweitzer and his siblings started the Shirley French Lilac Foundation in 2003 in memory of their mother. The Foundation has raised over $200,000 for pancreatic cancer research and youth sports programs in Madison.
Sweitzer's brother Scott was an outstanding tight end for the Huskies from 1984-87, earning All-Yankee Conference honors himself as a senior.
Sweitzer has coached over 30 local youth sports teams and was a volunteer assistant coach for the Yale freshman football team in 1989.
Still an avid golfer, Sweitzer was the men's champion at Old Lyme Country Club in 2013. He is a five-time Connecticut State Gold Amateur Championship qualifier and finished sixth in the 1999 Connecticut State Golf Mid-Amateur Championship.
He enjoyed an outstanding scholastic career at Daniel Hand High School in Madison, where he also excelled in basketball and baseball.
A resident of Old Lyme, he and his wife of 25 years, Cari, have three children -- KC (22), Sam (19) and Sloane (16).