Danny Wuerffel is Executive Director of Desire Street Ministries. He also is a motivational speaker, drawing from his decorated college and professional football career. In 1996, Danny won the highly acclaimed Heisman Trophy.

Danny played for the University of Florida Gators. He quarterbacked the Gators to four SEC Championships and UF’s first National Football Title. Wuerffel set 17 NCAA and University of Florida records. He also won many other awards, including the William V. Campbell Award. Danny graduated with high honors earning a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. In 2013, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

The New Orleans Saints drafted Wuerffel in 1997, and he played three seasons. He transferred to the NFL’s European league, winning the World Bowl Champions and being selected by the European media as the League’s MVP. Wuerffel went on to play for the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears, and the Washington Redskins before retiring in 2004.

Like any quarterback, couldn’t do much of anything without a team. When the baton of Desire Street’s leadership was passed to me in 2006, I relied heavily, as I still do, on staff, donors, friends and family—people who are every bit as committed to the vision of revitalizing under-resourced neighborhoods as I am. Today, the real heroes are our ministry partners who live and work in the neighborhoods they love. But it’s not us who is really making the difference, it’s God. Please give Him all the glory.

In 2004, Danny joined Desire Street Ministries and was named Executive Director in 2006. The ministry revitalizes under-resourced neighborhoods across the Southeast by partnering to develop leaders. When ministry leaders thrive, it means they’ll reach hundreds of kids and families.

Wuerffel inspires all types of groups around the country through motivational speaking. He weaves his life-shaping football experiences into a challenge to serve others. You might enjoy his book: Danny Wuerffel’s Tales from the Gator Swamp: Reflections of Faith and Football.

Danny and his wife, Jessica, have three active kids. He enjoys coaching them and playing flag football when he can.



ESPN, as part of the SEC Storied series, has premiered a new documentary on Executive Director Danny Wuerffel titled, “Wuerffel’s Way.” It recaps his decorated football career, as well as his 18-year journey at Desire Street.

Regarding the media attention promoting the film, Wuerffel was reminiscent of his days as a quarterback saying, “Sometimes the media tends to give you more credit than you deserve. Some of the articles refer to me as the founder of DSM and give me other credits that really should be passed along to the countless other heroes that worked tirelessly over the years at Desire Street.”

The film concludes with Wuerffel’s Guillain-Barré syndrome diagnosis in 2011, and footage of the groundbreaking for a new New Orleans project for Desire Street Ministries, Desire Community Square in the Ninth Ward.


Danny Wuerffel is executive director of Desire Street Ministries and a former American college and professional football athlete who played quarterback for the University of Florida and the New Orleans Saints, the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins.


Ministry Brief

Desire Street Ministries was founded in 1990 in the Desire neighborhood of New Orleans, LA. What began as Bible study and youth outreach, grew into a junior-senior high school for 200 neighborhood young men, a church, a children’s medical clinic, and various community development endeavors. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina wiped out most of Desire Street’s progress in  New Orleans, but at the same time, it propelled the ministry forward in its goal to replicate inner-city revitalization across the Southeast. Today, we coach and care for urban leaders, partnering our small staff with leaders of multiple neighborhoods in multiple cities across multiple states—continuing our mission to  revitalize impoverished neighborhoods through spiritual and community development. Please read more about our ministry partners at desirestreet.org/partners.

In 2016, we reopened the ministry facility in New Orleans, which was demolished and rebuilt with the help of a FEMA Assistance grant. Desire Community Square houses a full-service medical clinic, an early childhood learning center and a community center.

Executive Director

Danny Wuerffel has led Desire Street since 2006, adapting his skills as an outstanding quarterback to the field of urban ministry. While at the University of Florida, Danny set 17 NCAA and Univ of Florida records, won the 1996 Heisman Trophy plus several other awards, and graduated with High Honors in Public Relations. In 2004, he co-authored Tales from the Gator Swamp about his college career.He played 7 seasons in the NFL, including quarterbacking for the New Orleans Saints, where he first learned of Desire Street. As he volunteered and spent time with neighborhood kids, he developed a passion he couldn’t ignore, and a vision to see every neighborhood become a desirable place to live.


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Annual Prayer Breakfast, Tampa Bay, FL

AFFL Game, Bradenton, FL

Healing Warrior Retreat, CO

Ministry Leader Retreat, CO

Desire Cup, TPC Sawgrass, FL


The Wuerffel Trophy is the only major college football award that places the majority of its voting emphasis on Community Service.  We are proud to work in harmony with the All Sports Association to award the Wuerffel Trophy each year, presented to the FBS (formerly Division 1) football player that best combines exemplary community service with academic and athletic achievement.



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