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Butkus Award
Awarded for Given to the top linebackers at the high school, collegiate and professional levels of football
Presented by Butkus Foundation
Country United States
First awarded 1985
Currently held by Patrick Willis; Pro
Rolando McClain; College
Jordan Hicks; High School
Official website

The Butkus Award, instituted in 1985, is given annually to the top linebackers at the high school, collegiate and professional levels of football. The award, named in honor of College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker, Dick Butkus, is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports a number of health and wellness activities including the "I Play Clean" anti-steroid program. The award was first established by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, which relinquished control of the award in 2008.

Traditionally, the award was given only to the top collegant linebacker. The Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to include high school and professional winners[1] as part of a makeover by the Butkus family to help end anabolic steroid abuse among young athletes.

Patrick Willis is the only player to receive the Butkus Award in more than one category. He won the college Butkus Award in 2006 while at Ole Miss. In 2009, he won the professional Butkus Award while with the San Francisco 49ers.[2]



Professional winners

Year Player Team
2008 DeMarcus Ware Dallas Cowboys[1]
2009 Patrick Willis San Francisco 49ers[2]

Collegiate winners

Year Player School
1985 Brian Bosworth Oklahoma
1986 Brian Bosworth Oklahoma
1987 Paul McGowan Florida State
1988 Derrick Thomas Alabama
1989 Percy Snow Michigan State
1990 Alfred Williams Colorado
1991 Erick Anderson Michigan
1992 Marvin Jones Florida State
1993 Trev Alberts Nebraska
1994 Dana Howard Illinois
1995 Kevin Hardy Illinois
1996 Matt Russell Colorado
1997 Andy Katzenmoyer Ohio State
1998 Chris Claiborne USC
1999 LaVar Arrington Penn State
2000 Dan Morgan Miami
2001 Rocky Calmus Oklahoma
2002 E.J. Henderson Maryland
2003 Teddy Lehman Oklahoma
2004 Derrick Johnson Texas
2005 Paul Posluszny Penn State
2006 Patrick Willis Ole Miss
2007 James Laurinaitis Ohio State
2008 Aaron Curry Wake Forest
2009 Rolando McClain Alabama

High school winners

Year Player School
2008 Manti Teʻo Punahou School (Honolulu, HI)
2009 Jordan Hicks Lakota West H.S. (West Chester, OH)

Team & institutional breakdown of recipients

Trophies won by professional team

Team Winners
Dallas Cowboys 1
San Francisco 49ers 1

Trophies won by college

School Winners
Oklahoma 4
Alabama 2
Colorado 2
Florida State 2
Illinois 2
Ohio State 2
Penn State 2
Maryland 1
Miami 1
Michigan 1
Michigan State 1
Nebraska 1
Ole Miss 1
Texas 1
Wake Forest 1

Trophies won by high school

School Winners
Punahou School 1
Lakota West H.S. 1

External links

  1. Official Award Website
  2. Official Foundation Website


  1. ^ a b Archer, Todd (January 9, 2009). "Dallas Cowboys' Ware wins Butkus Award". the Dallas Morning News website. Belo Corporation. Retrieved January 11, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Willis Wins Butkus Award As Collegian And Pro

College football awards
BEST PLAYER awards: Heisman Memorial Trophy (1935) • Maxwell Award (1937) • SN Player of the Year (1942) • Chic Harley Award (1955) •
Walter Camp Award (1967) • AP Player of the Year (1998) • Archie Griffin Award (1999) • College Football Performance Awards National Performer of the Year (2009)
Bill Willis Trophy (defensive lineman)
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Defenseman)
Chuck Bednarik Award (Defenseman)
Dave Rimington Trophy (Center)
Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback)
Dick Butkus Award (Linebacker)
Doak Walker Award (Running back)
Fred Biletnikoff Award (Wide receiver)
Jack Lambert Trophy (linebacker)
Jack Tatum Trophy (defensive back)
Jim Brown Trophy (running back)
Jim Parker Trophy (offensive lineman)
Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive back)
College Football Performance Awards (Various positions)
John Mackey Award (Tight end)
Johnny Unitas Award (Senior quarterback)
Lombardi Award (Lineman/linebacker)
Lott Trophy (Defenseman)
Lou Groza Award (Placekicker)
Lowe's Senior CLASS Award (Student-athlete)
Manning Award (Quarterback)
Outland Trophy (Interior lineman)
Paul Warfield Trophy (wide receiver)
Ray Guy Award (Punter)
Sammy Baugh Trophy (Quarterback)
Ted Hendricks Award (Defensive end)
William V. Campbell Trophy (Student-athlete)
Wuerffel Trophy (Humanitarian-athlete)
COACHING: AFCA Coach of the Year (1935) • Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (1940) • Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1957) • SN Coach of the Year (1963) •
Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award (1967) • Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year (1976) • Woody Hayes Trophy (1977) • Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year (1986) •
George Munger Award (1989) • Home Depot Coach of the Year (1994) • AP Coach of the Year (1998) • Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award (2006)
ASSISTANT COACH: Broyles Award (Assistant Coach of the Year) • AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year
DIVISION I FCS awards: Walter Payton Award (Div. I FCS offensive player) • Buck Buchanan Award (Div. I FCS defenseman)
Eddie Robinson Award (Div. I FCS coach)
CONFERENCE awards: Big 12 awardsBig East awardsBig Ten awards (MVP) • MAC awardsPac-10 awardsSEC awards
OTHER DIVISIONS / ASSOCIATIONS: Harlon Hill Trophy (Div. II) • Gagliardi Trophy (Div. III) • Melberger Award (Div. III) • Rawlings Award (NAIA)
MOST INSPIRATIONAL individual or team: Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award
HALL OF FAME: College Football Hall of Fame

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