Rotary Lombardi Award
Awarded forThe best college football lineman of the year
LocationHouston, Texas
CountryUnited States
Presented byRotary Club of Houston
First award1970
Most recentLaiatu Latu, UCLA (2023)

The Rotary Lombardi Award is an award for college football in the United States. Awarded by the Rotary Club of Houston, Texas annually to the college football player "who best embodies the values and spirit of NFL's legendary coach Vince Lombardi"[1] the Rotary Lombardi Award program was created in 1970 shortly after the death of Lombardi.[2] The committee outlined the original criteria for eligibility for the award, which remained in place until this day:[3][4]


Following the death of highly regarded football coach Vince Lombardi in 1970 his widow, Marie, authorised the Rotary Club of Houston to establish the Rotary Lombardi Award. The award began as recognition to only interior line positions that Vince Lombardi played while an undergraduate at Fordham University, offensive and defensive guard, and later expanded to include linebackers and tight ends, with the addition of including non-performance values: leadership, courage, desire, respect for authority, and discipline.

To be considered for the award, players must be a NCAA FBS College Football team member and meet the following qualifications:

The voting electorate is made up of the head coaches from all NCAA Division I schools, sports media personnel from across the country, and former winners and finalists of the Lombardi Award. The total number of voters is approximately 500.[5] The Ohio State University holds the record for most Lombardi awards with six. Orlando Pace, the only two-time winner (1995 and 1996), is the most recent offensive lineman to be honored.

Net proceeds from the award activities are contributed to cancer research, awareness, and treatment, on the stipulation of Marie Lombardi.

Expansion of candidates, then retraction

In 2017, the presenting Rotary Club expanded the award's eligibility to include all positions.[6] This lasted until 2021, when they reverted to the original criteria. The winners from 2017 through 2020 are not recognized by the current award committee, although 2020 winner Zaven Collins qualified under the original criteria.[7]

Unrecognized recipients[8]
Year Player School Position
2017 Bryce Love Stanford RB
2018 Ugo Amadi Oregon S
2019 Joe Burrow LSU QB
2020 Zaven Collins Tulsa LB


The main part of the trophy is a block of granite, paying homage to Lombardi's college days at Fordham University as an offensive lineman when his offensive line was referred to as the "Seven Blocks of Granite".[9]


Year Player School Position
1970 Jim Stillwagon Ohio State MG
1971 Walt Patulski Notre Dame DT
1972 Rich Glover Nebraska MG
1973 John Hicks Ohio State (2) OT
1974 Randy White Maryland DT
1975 Lee Roy Selmon Oklahoma DE
1976 Wilson Whitley Houston DE
1977 Ross Browner Notre Dame (2) DE
1978 Bruce Clark Penn State DT
1979 Brad Budde USC OG
1980 Hugh Green Pittsburgh DE
1981 Kenneth Sims Texas DT
1982 Dave Rimington Nebraska (2) C
1983 Dean Steinkuhler Nebraska (3) OT
1984 Tony Degrate Texas (2) DT
1985 Tony Casillas Oklahoma (2) DT
1986 Cornelius Bennett Alabama LB
1987 Chris Spielman Ohio State (3) LB
1988 Tracy Rocker Auburn DT
1989 Percy Snow Michigan State LB
1990 Chris Zorich Notre Dame (3) DT
1991 Steve Emtman Washington DT
1992 Marvin Jones Florida State LB
1993 Aaron Taylor Notre Dame (4) OT
1994 Warren Sapp Miami (FL) DT
1995 Orlando Pace Ohio State (4) OT
1996 Orlando Pace (2) Ohio State (5) OT
1997 Grant Wistrom Nebraska (4) DE
1998 Dat Nguyen Texas A&M LB
1999 Corey Moore Virginia Tech DE
2000 Jamal Reynolds Florida State (2) DT
2001 Julius Peppers North Carolina DE
2002 Terrell Suggs Arizona State DE
2003 Tommie Harris Oklahoma (3) DT
2004 David Pollack Georgia DE
2005 A. J. Hawk Ohio State (6) LB
2006 LaMarr Woodley Michigan LB
2007 Glenn Dorsey LSU DT
2008 Brian Orakpo Texas (3) DE
2009 Ndamukong Suh Nebraska (5) DT
2010 Nick Fairley Auburn (2) DT
2011 Luke Kuechly Boston College LB
2012 Manti Te'o Notre Dame (5) LB
2013 Aaron Donald Pittsburgh (2) DT
2014 Scooby Wright III Arizona LB
2015 Carl Nassib Penn State (2) DE
2016 Jonathan Allen Alabama (2) DE
2017 Bryce Love


2018 Ugo Amadi


2019 Joe Burrow LSU (2) QB
2020 Zaven Collins Tulsa LB
2021 Aidan Hutchinson Michigan (2) DE
2022 Will Anderson Jr. Alabama (3) LB
2023 Laiatu Latu UCLA DE

See also


  1. ^ "Football Lombardi Award".
  2. ^ "The Rotary Lombardi Award". The Rotarian. Rotary International. 167 (6): 34. December 1995. ISSN 0035-838X. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  3. ^ "College football's Lombardi Award to be open to all positions". 24 August 2016.
  4. ^ "The Heisman-like college football award for anti-Manziels". 27 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Texas' Orakpo wins Lombardi Award". Associated Press. December 10, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  6. ^ Duarte, Joseph (2016-08-24). "College football's Lombardi Award to be open to all positions". Chron. Retrieved 2021-12-07.
  7. ^ "MEDIA". RotaryLombardiAward. Retrieved 2021-12-07.
  8. ^ World, Kelly Hines Tulsa (17 February 2021). "Former TU linebacker Zaven Collins wins Lombardi Award". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2021-12-07.
  9. ^ "Michigan's Woodley wins Lombardi Award". USA Today. Associated Press. December 6, 2006. Retrieved July 16, 2017.