One of the University of Florida’s greatest all-around athletes, Forest went to UF in the fall of 1938 after having been a star end for Stuart (FL) High School. He was a three-year starter at offensive end and defensive end, playing both sides of the ball, from 1939-41. His pass receiving records held until the 1960s when quarterbacks Steve Spurrier and John Reaves began to throw passes to Charles Casey, Richard Trapp, and All-American Carlos Alvarez. Ferguson was a football All-American in 1941. The following year he was the State of Florida collegiate boxing champion and won the National AAU Javelin throw with a throw of 203 feet, 6-1/2 inches.
Forest was severely wounded in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, the key thrust of the European Theater during World War II. Ferguson, a 2nd Lieutenant, never recovered and died a decade after the landing. He was awarded the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest medal for gallantry in action, for his service on June 6, 1944.
Each year The University of Florida awards the Forrest K. Ferguson Award to honor his memory. The award is in the form of a trophy, which remains in the permanent possession of the school, and is given to the football player selected by the football coaches to the Gator’s Most Valuable Senior who displays leadership, character, and courage.