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Home > About Us About The Miami Project > Nicholas A. Buoniconti 





Nicholas A. BuonicontiNicholas A. Buoniconti is a man of action.  He sees challenges and attacks them with the same vigor that made him a National Football League Hall of Fame linebacker and a two-time World Champion.  He now focuses that same drive and determination into several diverse careers.


While most today find it difficult to balance one career, Nick Buoniconti has balanced many over the years.  As a young football professional, he juggled the rigors of a sports career and law school, then a law practice.  He is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School, and to this day is a member of the Bar in both Florida and in Massachusetts.


For twenty-three seasons, Mr. Buoniconti was co-host of the longest running, critically acclaimed, weekly television sports show "Inside the NFL" on the HBO cable network. Over the years, he has held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer of UST, a Fortune 500 company, served on the UST Board of Directors and was Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman of Columbia Laboratories, an AMEX listed pharmaceutical research and development company.


Buoniconti has also served as an outside director for The Sports Authority, American Bankers Insurance Company, Nine West Group, Inc. and is a former member of the Board of Governors of the United Service Organization (USO), to name a few.


As remarkable as his career has been in sports, business and broadcasting, Mr. Buoniconti’s most challenging foe has turned into his passion and driving force.  Since his son Marc suffered a devastating spinal cord injury in 1985, he has focused most of his attention on raising awareness of, and funds for, spinal cord injury research.   He helped found, and serves as a national spokesman and fundraiser for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.  He and his family also founded The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis to help The Miami Project achieve its national and international goal of finding a cure for spinal cord injuries.  To that end, through the direct involvement of the Buonicontis, more than $150 million has been raised in support of The Miami Project’s research programs.  In that time, The Miami Project has grown to become internationally recognized as the leading research center for spinal cord injuries in the world.


An All-American linebacker and team captain at the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Buoniconti was drafted by the Boston Patriots in 1962 and was an All-AFL choice in five of his seven seasons with the Patriots. In 1969, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins, where he was an All-Pro Linebacker. Mr. Buoniconti was captain of the famous Dolphins’ No-Name Defense and anchored the defensive team in the undefeated season of 1972 that went on to become Super Bowl champions in 1972 and 1973. He was named to the Pro Bowl team both years, and his teammates voted him Most Valuable Dolphin in 1973. He retired from football in 1976 as a six-time All-AFL selection, as a member of the all-time AFL team, and with eight Pro Bowl appearances to his credit. On August 4, 2001, Nick Buoniconti was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.  He is also a member of the New England Patriots Hall of Fame and the Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame.


Mr. Buoniconti has been the recipient of numerous awards for career achievement and philanthropy including: "Man of the Year" by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the "Ernie Davis Award" by the Leukemia Society of America, "Career Achievement Award" by the Leukemia Society of America, "Career Achievement Award" by the NFL Alumni, "Thurman Munson Award" by the Association for the Help of Retarded Children, "Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award" by Suffolk University Law School, "Professional Athlete Award for Courage" by the Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs of Newark, "Medal of Honor Award," The 52 Association for the Handicapped, "Louis E. Seidman Human Relations Award" by the American Jewish Committee, "Leadership in Business Award," Italo-American Association of New York, "Man of the Year Helping Hands Award" from the University of Miami School of Medicine, as well as an Honorary Degree from Suffolk University received in May, 1993, an Honorary Degree from Roger Williams University received in May, 1995, an Honorary Degree from Iona College in April, 2003, and the Medal of Honor at Ellis Island in May, 2005. 


Mr. Buoniconti also serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami, the Board of Directors for TravelCLICK, Inc and the Board of Directors for Plum TV.


Corporate History

2003-2007      Member, Board of Directors, Plum TV
1998-2007      Member, Board of Directors, TravelCLICK, Inc.
1996-2000      Member, Board of Directors, The Sports Authority
1993-1999      Member, Board of Directors, American Bankers Insurance Company
1992-1998      Vice Chairman, Board of Directors & Chief Operation Officer
                        Columbia Laboratories, Miami, Fla.
1995-1996      Member, Board of Directors, Innkeepers USA
1992-1995      Member, Board of Directors, Simmons Outdoor Corporation
1994-1995      Member, Board of Directors, Nine West Group, Inc.
1987-1989      President and Chief Operating Officer, UST, Greenwich, Connecticut
1985-1987      President and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Tobacco, Greenwich, Connecticut
1978-1989      Member of the Board of Director, UST, Greenwich, Connecticut


Professional Achievements in Law

Member of the Bar, States of Florida and Massachusetts
Private Law Practice:  Miami, Florida, 1971-1983, 1990-1994


Past and Present Affiliations

Member, Board of Trustees, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida  1992-Present
Member, Board of Directors, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
Member, Board of Directors, The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis
Member, Board of Directors, Daniel Heumann Fund for Spinal Cord Injury, 1986-present
Member, Board of Governors (former Member), United Service Organization (USO)
The Sorin Society, University of Notre Dame, 1983-present
Summa Society, Suffolk University Law School



Medal of Honor, Ellis Island, 2005
Honorary Degree, Iona College, 2003
Honorary Degree, Roger Williams University, 1995
Honorary Degree, Suffolk University Law School, 1993
National Father of the Year Award, Variety Children's Charity, 1993
Ernie Davis Award, American Leukemia Society, 1991
Man of the Year Award, The Walter Camp Football Foundation, 1990
Career Achievement Award, NFL Alumni, 1990
Louis E. Seidman Human Relations Award, The American Jewish Committee, 1988
Medal of Honor Award, The 52 Association for the Handicapped, 1988
Professional Athlete Award for Courage, Boys' & Girls' Clubs of Newark, 1988
Thurman Munson Award, Association for the Help of Retarded Children, 1988
Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award, Suffolk University Law School, 1987
Man of the Year "Helping Hands Award," University of Miami School of Medicine, 1987
Leadership in Business Award, Coalition of Italo-American Associations, Inc., 1986
National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, inducted 11/9/85
Sports Commentary "ACE Award" for Inside the NFL, 1983     


Athletic Achievements


Career Awards
Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2001
Named All-Time American Football League Middle Linebacker
Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame
Patriots Hall of Fame
Miami Dolphins 1969-1976
Defensive Linebacker, Captain of the "No Name Defense," 1970-1976
Key player during Dolphins' 1972 undefeated season and for back-to-back
Super Bowl Championships, 1972, 1973
Voted "Most Valuable Dolphin" by teammates, 1973
Named All-Pro 1972, 1973
A.F.L. All-Pro Team, 1969
Boston Patriots 1962-1968
All-Pro Linebacker for 5 of 7 seasons
University of Notre Dame 1958-1962
Team Captain
Football All-American, University of Notre Dame, 1961


Broadcasting Achievements

HBO Cable Television 1979-2002
Co-Host of the award winning weekly television sports show Inside the NFL



J.D., Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, 1968
B.A., University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, 1962
Cathedral High School, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1958



How to Play Defense, 1973, co-authored with Dick Anderson

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