The 16th Annual Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, an award given to the most outstanding role models among athletes, has announced the professional, collegiate, and high school honorees for its 2021 award ceremony, which will be held on April 29 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. 1996 Heisman Trophy winner and philanthropist Danny Wuerffel will be honored as the professional recipient. Bob Ryan, the famed sportswriter for the Boston Globe and analyst for ESPN, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
Founded by Athletes for a Better World (ABW), a non-profit organization that celebrates the unselfish generosity of many participants in American sports, the Wooden Cup is unique in that it is open to all athletes in all high school, college, and professional or Olympic sports. Annual nominations are open to every division and conference in college sports, and to athletes in public and private high schools across the country in partnership with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. The Wooden Cup is becoming one of the most prestigious awards in all of sports. Previous professional recipients include Jack Nicklaus, Pat Summitt, Drew Brees, Andrea Jaeger, Tim Tebow, Shannon Miller, Peyton Manning, and Mia Hamm.
In 1996, Danny won the coveted Heisman Trophy Award while playing football at the University of Florida. As quarterback, he led the Gators to four SEC Championships and UF’s first National Football Championship under the leadership of legendary coach Steve Spurrier. Wuerffel set 17 NCAA and UF records, won the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Awards (nation’s top QB), as well as the Campbell Award, given to the nation’s top scholar-athlete. In 2014 Wuerffel was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Drafted by the New Orleans Saints, Wuerffel played seven seasons in the NFL (Packers, Bears, Redskins). During his playing years, Danny continued to make service a priority in each city but felt the strongest connection to the children and families living in New Orleans’ poverty-stricken Ninth Ward, home of Desire Street Ministries. Wuerffel left the NFL in 2004 to join Desire Street, later becoming its Executive Director and relocating the headquarters to Atlanta to allow the organization to have a larger impact in the Southeast. Wuerffel felt called to serve leaders in under-resourced neighborhoods and continues to be a champion for inspiring community-led revitalization.
In 2005 The Wuerffel Trophy was established, now known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service.” In addition to presenting the trophy to a deserving winner, the Wuerffel Trophy organization honors hundreds of college football players who excel in community service and celebrates their positive impact on society.
In 2020 the Wuerffel Foundation was established to inspire, support, and honor community service leaders to make a positive impact in the world. Wuerffel speaks at corporate and non-profit events and consults to non-profit leaders and philanthropists. Wuerffel resides in Atlanta with wife Jessica and three children.
The 2021 Collegiate Wooden Cup recipient will be announced at the awards ceremony.
For more information, please visit https://www.abw.org/