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Heisman Trophy

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Heisman Trophy

The Heisman Memorial trophy is an award given to the best individual collegiate football player in the United States for that year. It is one of the most highly sought after awards in all of American collegiate sports. The current award was named after John Heisman a player, coach, and DAC (Downtown Athletics Club) member who through one of his greatest football related achievements innovated the game by getting the forward pass legalized in 1906. The Heisman award was originally called the DAC Trophy and under that name was awarded only to Jay Berwagner, known as "the one man gang" December 9th 1935.

The trophy shows a player high stepping and stiff arming, weighs 45 pounds and was sculpted by Frank Eliscu who designed the bronze statue after Ed Smith a starter on the New York University football team. This statue was approved by the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame who were four players on a great 1924 team that only lost 2 games in 4 years and the then coach of Notre Dame Elmer Layden In 1935 and they were extremely impressed by the creativity and craftsmanship of the statue. Now a days the award is given as two seperate trophies one given to the player and one to his school. Recently a of the trophy Reggie Bush made illegal contact with a recruiter which resulted in the trophy being taken away from the school but not his own.

The naming of the DAC award was only used once before the death of John Heisman in 1936 which resulted in the naming of the award as the John Heisman Memorial Award. At that time he was the Director of the Downtown Athletic Club. John Heisman was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 23, 1869. John went to Brown University and the transferred to play club football at the University of Pennsylvania. Two years after receiving his law degree and being struck by lightning he became the coach of Oberlin College and coached them to win all seven games that season. Although coaching many great teams his best tenture as a coach was at Georgia Tech where from 1904-1919 he coached the team to 33 straight wins before returning to the University of Pensylvania.




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