The most successful football player that Madison County produced during the 1960s was Don Floyd.
After a successful career for the Madison High School Red Devils, Floyd was the split end to NFL Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff’s flanker on the 1964 Florida State football team that went 9-1-1 with victories over the Florida Gators and Oklahoma Sooners and finished ranked number five in the country.
At FSU, the head coach at the time was Bill Peterson, but Floyd’s receivers’ coach was Bobby Bowden.
Peterson was famous for not only being a successful football coach but for his quotes, which became known as “Petersonisms.” Some quotes that are attributed to Peterson include, “I want you guys to pair up in groups of three and then line up in a circle” and “You guys line up alphabetically by height.” Floyd said that he has a whole book full of quotes by his former head coach.
Peterson left Tallahassee to go coach the Houston Oilers. Bowden left FSU to go coach at West Virginia and then returned to Tallahassee one day to make history, winning two national titles and compiling the second most all-time Division 1A wins by any coach.
Floyd was drafted by the San Diego Chargers, who were then in the American Football League. Off to San Diego Floyd went with broken ribs. After playing four games during the pre-season, Floyd was released by Coach Sid Gillman, who told him that they had enough slow wide receivers, they needed fast wide receivers.
Floyd went to Norfolk, Va., where he played for Norfolk Neptunes and taught and coached at a secondary school. During his career with the Neptunes, he developed problems with his back. Doctors told him that he would have to have surgery, Instead, he went to a chiropractor and the chiropractor helped him. At 31 years of age, he decided to go to St. Louis and study to be a chiropractor. He ended up becoming a chiropractor and bought the practice from the man who had helped him. He ran the business for 24 years before retiring and selling the practice to his daughter and son-in-law, who are also chiropractors.
These days, Don Floyd spends his time between Madison County and Virginia. He and his wife, the former Bonnie Bell of Lee, spend three months in Madison County and nine months in Virginia. They have two daughters, Sherry (who is a massage therapist) and Pamela (the chiropractor), as well as five grandchildren.
Nowadays, during his spare time, Don enjoys the outdoors. Hunting and fishing are still two of his passions. He and Barbara also enjoy spending time gardening.