It was a quiet May afternoon on the campus of LSU, at least for the students. Final exams.
A bit busier at the Football Operations Center where two Tiger legends, Head Coach Les Miles and former Basketball Coach Dale Brown, were scheduled to talk about a topic they have in common, something other than them being coaches at LSU.
That something would be the Wuerffel Trophy.
Miles coached the first ever Wuerffel Trophy winner, Rudy Niswanger. Brown was the keynote speaker of the All Sports Banquet when that presentation was made. So passionate about the award, Brown was soon named to the Award’s National Selection Committee. He’s never unavailable for comment.
Or without a brain teaser for you.
Lois Stuckey welcomes you when you enter the facility. “That trophy (Wuerffel Trophy) is my favorite in this whole building. Rudy (Niswanger) won the first one ever. They couldn’t have picked anybody that embodies Danny Wuerffel’s qualities more than Rudy. Oh my, talking about Rudy just makes me want to cry. Did you hear Danny (Wuerffel) was named to the Hall of Fame yesterday?”
The respect for Wuerffel, and this national award, continued with Miles inside the coaches lounge adjacent to his office.
“The Wuerffel Trophy has great prestige, it really takes the important things in our society and raises it up and makes it visible to college football,” said Miles. “We are very honored that we were the first recipient.” “It’s more than football. It’s the Wuerffel Trophy. It stands for more.”
Brown concurred. “It (the Trophy) has much more depth than what goes on on the football field. What goes on in the classroom.
What goes on in your personal life. What do you do in your city? What do you do in your state? There’s none better than this,” Brown added.
Miles talked what it means to have one of these type players on the team. “A Niswanger, a guy that wins the Wuerffel Trophy, he’s a guy that gives to his team, that finds a way to extend his responsibilities beyond his position, who gives leadership. He’s unselfish as a team member.”
Both recorded video congratulations to Danny for his Hall of Fame induction. Miles, in his true “ESPN commercial type form” threw in a joking clip as well for good measure. For Danny’s eyes only.
Brown departed first, but not before giving the administrative staff a brain teaser to think about for awhile. It was an “easy” one.
As Miles’ last clip was finished, his cell phone rang and he apologetically went out to his office. Sports Information Director, Michael Bonnette helped me to the car with my gear and bid adieu.
But you never get a chance to make a first impression, and that’s “Miss Lois” at LSU, as Rudy calls her. “What a wonderful lady. She makes it happen. She’s the best of the best there.”
I fumbled on Dale Brown’s brain teaser most of the way home, the “tough one”. Finally got it, after four hours. He said it only took John Wooden and hour and a half to solve it.