TROY - Super Bowl champion and alumnus DeMarcus Ware will receive Troy University's 15th Distinguished Leadership Award on April 19 in a special open-to-the public event in Trojan Arena.
The award honors the achievements of TROY alumni and friends who have distinguished themselves through exemplary work, philanthropy, leadership and service to their profession, community and alma mater. The award will be presented by Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. during the free event that begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday
"DeMarcus Ware has been a leader on and off the field and he has exemplified the Trojan Warrior Spirit in his work, life and in service to the community," Dr. Hawkins said. "While many athletes excel in their sport, DeMarcus has provided a strong, moral example to others in the National Football League and beyond. We are proud to call this outstanding Alabamian a Trojan."
The award presentation follows morning presentations in Montgomery by Gov. Robert Bentley, who will declare April 19 as "DeMarcus Ware Day" in the Old House Chamber, and a legislative proclamation presentation in a special joint session of the Alabama Legislature.
Ware, who plays defensive end for the Denver Broncos, has built a legendary career through hard work. The Auburn native didn't even play football until his junior year at Auburn High School, where he also participated in basketball, baseball and track. Yet as a senior, he earned Team MVP honors. During a historic stint at Troy University, he set a school record for tackles for loss (57) and finished second all-time in sacks at TROY with 27.5.
His collegiate accolades helped bring him to the attention of the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. The pairing of Ware and the Cowboys proved overwhelmingly successful, as Ware became the team's all-time leader in sacks and forced fumbles during his nine seasons in Dallas.
In 2014, he signed with the Broncos, where he was a leader on the top-ranked defense in the NFL for the 2015 season. The Broncos' defense was the star in the team's 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers Super Bowl 50. Ware recorded five tackles and two sacks in the Super Bowl victory.
Ware's NFL career places him in elite company. He is one of just 29 members of the elusive "100 Sack Club," achieving that mark in the second fastest time in NFL history (behind only Hall of Famer Reggie White). He is one of just three players in league history with seven consecutive 10-sack seasons and one of only six players to lead the NFL in sacks twice (2008 and 2010). He's been named to the Pro Bowl nine times, including seven straight appearances that coincided with seven consecutive All Pro selections. In 2008, he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and in 2012, he was named to the Troy University Athletics Hall of Fame. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history and a first-ballot Hall of Fame candidate.
His achievements aren't limited to those on the field. He has two children, daughter Marley and son DeMarcus Jr. On two occasions, he's won the Butkus Award, given to athletes who are committed to playing steroid-free. DeMarcus has also dedicated himself to numerous charitable organizations, particularly those benefitting children and feeding the hungry.