Danny Wuerffel was born May 27, 1974 in Pensacola, Florida. He grew up as the son of an U.S. Air Force Chaplin, living all over the country as well as three years in Spain. Danny graduated as valedictorian of Fort Walton Beach High School in Florida, where he led his football team to the state championship.
For higher education, he chose the University of Florida. While at the University of Florida, Danny led the Gators to four SEC championships and a National title. He won the 1996 Heisman trophy, the Draddy award (the Nation’s top student-athlete), and set 17 NCAA and University of Florida records. He graduated with High Honors and earned his bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.
The New Orleans Saints drafted Danny in 1997. After three years with the Saints, Danny played with the NFL’s European league, winning the World Bowl Championship and was selected the league’s MVP by the European media. Danny played one season with each of the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and Washington Redskins.
In February 2004, Danny retired from professional football to work in New Orleans with Desire Street Ministries (www.desirestreet.org), a faith-based, non-profit organization in one of America’s toughest and poorest neighborhoods. Danny now serves as Desire Street Ministries’ Executive Director and has led the ministry’s transition following Hurricane Katrina.
Danny is a popular speaker, sharing how his experiences playing football have helped shape his life, and has written one book, “Danny Wuerffel’s Tales from the Gator Swamp: Reflections of Faith and Football.”
His wife, Jessica, is his best friend. They have two sons, Jonah and Joshua and a daughter, Macy.
- 1992, Fort Walton Beach High School Valedictorian
- National Honor Society Member
- 1995 & 1996 Academic All America
- 1996 Academic All American of the Year
- 3.74 Career GPA, Majoring in Communications
- 1991 Florida High School AAAA State Football Championsship
- 1996 Heisman Trophy Winner
- 1996 Draddy Award Winner – Danny is the only Heisman winner to win both the Heisman and the Draddy
- 1996 All American, Davey O’Brien winner (nation’s top quarterback)
- 1996 Walter Camp Award (College Football Player of the Year) and Heisman Trophy Winner.
- 1996 National Championship Team
- Fort Walton Beach High School FCA President and member of Interact Service Club
- University of Florida FCA President Gator Reading Program
- 2005 World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame Award
- Executive Director, Desire Street Ministries, New Orleans, LA
- Board of Directors of PAO (Professional Athletes Outreach)
- National Spokesperson for Caps for Kids (along with his wife Jessica Wuerffel)
- Presidential appointee to the White House Council for Service and Civic Participation