Herff Jones has been a big part of the Wuerffel Trophy for the last 10 years.
And this past summer, the renowned awards company based in Indianapolis recently renewed their contract to be the official provider of the necessary 2 trophies needed per year, one for the winner and one for their university, while continuing their financial support of the award.
But, back in August, they also hinted that they had a new surprise in store for the award’s past winners. A big surprise.
That big surprise was unveiled at this year’s presentation in the form of rings for the past winners, commemorating their status as a Wuerffel Trophy winner.
“We wanted to do something special for these gentlemen as they are certainly a special group,” said Ken Langlois, Vice President of Collegiate Sales for Herff Jones.
Langlois made the annual trip from Indianapolis to Fort Walton Beach along with Sarah and Greg McDonald from Herff Jones in Houston and a strong contingent from the University of Oklahoma to witness the second Wuerffel Trophy presentation to a Sooner.
“These guys have selflessly given of themselves to others for so long, so it’s nice that we could give them something that they could take with them on a daily basis reminding them of the unique fraternity that they are a member of,” Langlois added.
The 40 pennyweight custom ring features a replica of the Wuerffel Trophy encircled with diamonds on its top, which also includes the year the ring was presented.
On the left side of the ring is a full-color crest of the All Sports Association, the presenters of the award, along with “ASA 1970,” representing the year that the Fort Walton Beach based organization was founded. On the opposite side is a color replica of the team helmet of the winner, along with their last name and uniform number in college.
This year, rings were presented in a private ceremony to Danny Wuerffel and the award’s first three winners: Rudy Niswanger-LSU-2005, Joel Penton-Ohio State-2006 and Paul Smith-Tulsa-2007. To say they were impressed would be an understatement.
“I am very impressed by the quality and size of the ring, the pictures simply don’t do it justice,” said Smith. “Many of the Wuerffel Trophy winners, myself included, are fortunate to have beautiful bowl rings from our college days and this ring can proudly stand up to the best designs out there,” he added.
“When I first saw the design of the ring when I opened the box I was blown away. Herff Jones created something that is not only beautiful, but truly embodies the brotherhood that all of us who wear the ring feel. This one ranks right up there with my national championship ring,” said Niswanger.
In the next two years, rings will be presented to up to three returning winners per year until the alumni list is complete, whereby the ring will be presented on the winner’s 5th anniversary.
On behalf of everyone from the Wuerffel Trophy, a big THANK YOU to our our longtime partner, Herff Jones, for such a beautiful keepsake for our past winners.