The history and significance of the Lombardi Award are deeply rooted in the legacy of Coach Vince Lombardi and his commitment to character, discipline, and excellence. Just weeks after Coach Vince Lombardi's passing in 1970 due to colon cancer, the Rotary Club of Houston, with the authorization of Vince Lombardi's widow, Marie, and his sister, Madeline Lombardi Werner, established the Lombardi Award.
Initially, the award was designed to recognize outstanding performance in interior line positions, the very positions that Vince Lombardi himself played during his undergraduate years at Fordham University, which included offensive and defensive guard. Over time, the award evolved to include linebackers and tight ends while incorporating non-performance values that were dear to Vince Lombardi: leadership, courage, desire, respect for authority, and discipline.
Now in its 50th Annual Lombardi Award™, this prestigious accolade continues to honor the Outstanding College Football Lineman, whether on offense or defense, who not only displays exceptional performance and ability but also embodies the character and discipline that Vince Lombardi championed throughout his life.
The design of the Lombardi Award itself holds significant symbolism, representing the core values that Vince Lombardi held dear: desire, courage, and discipline. This design has remained unchanged since the award's inception in January 1971, serving as a timeless reminder of the enduring legacy of Coach Vince Lombardi.
As per Mrs. Lombardi's stipulation, the net proceeds generated from Gala sponsorship and table sales are dedicated to supporting cancer research efforts. This commitment is in honor of Coach Vince Lombardi, who tragically lost his life to the disease.
Since the inception of the Lombardi Award in 1970, charitable fundraising services have been an integral part of the initiative. Notably, these efforts have raised millions of dollars to advance cancer research programs.
We are excited to invite you to join us for the 50th Lombardi Award™ on December 5-6, 2023, in Houston, Texas. This event promises to be a memorable and star-studded occasion. We are honored to have famed Coach Jackie Sherrill as the Honorary Chair and Dat Nguyen, the 1998 RLA winner, as the Alumni Chair. You can look forward to a gathering of past winners and finalists, members of the Lombardi family, and other sports celebrities who will come together to celebrate this significant milestone and continue the fight against cancer.
It's an event you won't want to miss.