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The AFCA National Championship Trophy (also known as the Coaches' Trophy) is the trophy awarded annually by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) to the NCAA Division I FBS college football national champion as determined by the Coaches' Poll. The trophy has been presented since 1986 and was contractually given to the winner of the BCS National Championship Game and its predecessors from 1992 to 2013. It will continue to be awarded to the No. 1 ranked team in the final poll of the season.[1]

AFCA National Championship Trophy
President Trump Welcomes the Clemson Tigers to the White House (32881334928) (cropped).jpg
Clemson's 2018 Championship Trophy
Given forCoaches' Poll national champion (1986–present)
Winner of BCS National Championship Game (1998–2013)
Winner of Bowl Alliance (1995–1997)
Winner of Bowl Coalition (1992–1994)
CountryUnited States
Presented byAmerican Football Coaches Association
First award1986
(retroactively available to No. 1 Coaches' Poll teams)
Most recentClemson

Patrick and Michael Gerrits came up with the idea for a college football trophy to be awarded to the AFCA national champions along with an academic scholarship award to a non-athlete. The intent was to honor the memory of the patriarch of the Gerrits family, Edward J. Gerrits. The trophy consists of a Waterford Crystal football[2] affixed to an ebony base, and carries a value of over $30,000. The winning school retains permanent possession of the trophy, as a new one is awarded every year. The football portion of the trophy weighs approximately eight pounds and together with the stand, it weighs about 45 pounds (20 kg) and stands 34 inches (86 cm) tall. It is handmade by master craftspeople at Waterford Crystal and reportedly takes nearly three months to complete.[2][3]

The trophy has undergone several sponsorship changes over the years. It was sponsored by the Gerrits Foundation during the initial 1986 and 1987 seasons and, through the Gerrits' family Pepsi bottling business, Pepsi became a co-sponsor with the Gerrits Foundation in 1988 and 1989. McDonald's was the sole sponsor from 1990 to 1992. Sears began its sponsorship in 1993 and remained until 2001. Circuit City assumed the sponsorship for the 2002 season. ADT Security Services was the title sponsor from 2003 to 2005; and from 2009 to 2013, Dr Pepper sponsored the trophy.[2] Since 2014, Amway has been the trophy sponsor.[4]

The official name is the American Football Coaches Association National Championship Trophy; it was given this permanent name by the association in 2006. In 2009, the AFCA allowed universities to buy replica trophies for any year a school finished first in the Coaches' Poll prior to the trophy's creation in 1986.

Through the 1973 season, the final Coaches' Poll was released in early December, after the regular season, but before postseason bowl games. Beginning with the 1974 season, the Coaches' Poll conducted its final poll after the bowl games.

Throughout the eras of the Bowl Championship Series and its predecessors (1992–2013) no separate national championship trophy was commissioned by those bodies, with the AFCA Trophy serving that role. During the BCS era the Coaches' Trophy was presented to the winning team in an on-field ceremony after the title game.[5] With the end of the BCS, its successor playoff system, the College Football Playoff, commissioned a new trophy for its champion; officials wanted a new trophy that was unconnected with the previous championship system.[6] However, coaches were "adamant" that the AFCA trophy continue to be awarded.[5] Since the 2014 season, the trophy has been awarded to the team ranked No. 1 in the final Coaches' Poll of the season in a celebration at that team's stadium sometime after the College Football Playoff National Championship.[1]



Alabama's 2009 Championship Trophy on display at the Paul W. Bryant Museum
Season School Head Coach AP Champion[a]
1945 Oklahoma A&M Jim Lookabaugh Army
1950 Oklahoma Bud Wilkinson
1951 Tennessee Robert Neyland
1952 Michigan State Biggie Munn
1953 Maryland Jim Tatum
1954 UCLA Red Sanders Ohio State
1955 Oklahoma Bud Wilkinson
1956 Oklahoma
1957 Ohio State Woody Hayes Auburn
1958 LSU Paul Dietzel
1959 Syracuse Ben Schwartzwalder
1960 Minnesota Murray Warmath
1961 Alabama Bear Bryant
1962 USC John McKay
1963 Texas Darrell Royal
1964 Alabama Bear Bryant
1965 Michigan State Duffy Daugherty Alabama
1966 Notre Dame Ara Parseghian
1967 USC John McKay
1968 Ohio State Woody Hayes
1969 Texas Darrell Royal
1970 Texas Nebraska
1971 Nebraska Bob Devaney
1972 USC John McKay
1973 Alabama Bear Bryant Notre Dame
1974 USC John McKay Oklahoma
1975 Oklahoma Barry Switzer
1976 Pittsburgh Johnny Majors
1977 Notre Dame Dan Devine
1978 USC John Robinson Alabama
1979 Alabama Bear Bryant
1980 Georgia Vince Dooley
1981 Clemson Danny Ford
1982 Penn State Joe Paterno
1983 Miami Howard Schnellenberger
1984 Brigham Young LaVell Edwards
1985 Oklahoma Barry Switzer
1986 Penn State Joe Paterno
1987 Miami Jimmy Johnson
1988 Notre Dame Lou Holtz
1989 Miami Dennis Erickson
1990 Georgia Tech Bobby Ross Colorado
1991 Washington Don James Miami (FL)
1992 Alabama Gene Stallings
1993 Florida State Bobby Bowden
1994 Nebraska Tom Osborne
1995 Nebraska
1996 Florida Steve Spurrier
1997 Nebraska Tom Osborne Michigan
1998 Tennessee Phillip Fulmer
1999 Florida State Bobby Bowden
2000 Oklahoma Bob Stoops
2001 Miami Larry Coker
2002 Ohio State Jim Tressel
2003 LSU Nick Saban USC
2004 vacated[b]
2005 Texas Mack Brown
2006 Florida Urban Meyer
2007 LSU Les Miles
2008 Florida Urban Meyer
2009 Alabama Nick Saban
2010 Auburn Gene Chizik
2011 Alabama Nick Saban
2012 Alabama
2013 Florida State Jimbo Fisher
2014 Ohio State Urban Meyer
2015 Alabama Nick Saban
2016 Clemson Dabo Swinney
2017 Alabama Nick Saban
2018 Clemson Dabo Swinney
  1. ^ Listed if the AP Poll champion was different than the Coaches' Poll champion.
  2. ^ USC was later stripped of its 2004 Coaches' Poll championship due to NCAA sanctions.

† Retroactively awarded.[7]

By schoolEdit

School Number Seasons
Alabama 10 1961, 1964, 1973, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017
Oklahoma 6 1950, 1955, 1956, 1975, 1985, 2000
USC 5 1962, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1978
Ohio State 4 1957, 1968, 2002, 2014
Nebraska 4 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997
Miami (FL) 4 1983, 1987, 1989, 2001
Texas 4 1963, 1969, 1970, 2005
Clemson 3 1981, 2016, 2018
Florida State 3 1993, 1999, 2013
LSU 3 1958, 2003, 2007
Notre Dame 3 1966, 1977, 1988
Florida 3 1996, 2006, 2008
Michigan State 2 1952, 1965
Tennessee 2 1951, 1998
Penn State 2 1982, 1986
Auburn 1 2010
BYU 1 1984
Georgia 1 1980
Georgia Tech 1 1990
Maryland 1 1953
Minnesota 1 1960
Oklahoma A&M 1 1945
Pittsburgh 1 1976
Syracuse 1 1959
UCLA 1 1954
Washington 1 1991

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "FBS coaches' poll will continue every week despite BCS going away". Associated Press. January 13, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-26. Retrieved 2011-11-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Dennis Dodd (February 18, 2014). "Amway new sponsor of glass football national championship trophy". Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Dan Wolken (January 13, 2014). "In Playoff era, AFCA will continue to award Coaches Trophy". USA Today. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  6. ^ Dennis Dodd (July 23, 2013). "New College Football Playoff will reportedly feature a new trophy". Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  7. ^ Culpepper, Chuck (October 13, 2016). "Oklahoma State just won the 1945 college football national championship". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 22, 2018.