Danny Wuerffel is the Executive Director of Desire Street Ministries, headquartered Atlanta Georgia. Following his career in football, Danny felt called to serve those in under-resourced neighborhoods, which continues to be his focus.
In 1996, Danny won the highly acclaimed Heisman Trophy. Wuerffel played college football at the University of Florida, where he quarterbacked the Gators to four SEC Championships and UF’s first National Football Title. While at UF, Wuerffel set 17 NCAA and UF records, and won several other awards, including the William V. Campbell Award, given to the nation’s top scholar-athlete. Danny graduated with high honors earning a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.
The New Orleans Saints drafted Danny in 1997 where he played three seasons. He transferred to the NFL’s European league, winning the World Bowl Championship and being selected by the European media as the League’s MVP. Wuerffel went on to play for the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and Washington Redskins before retiring in 2004.
Danny is the namesake of the Wuerffel Trophy, the premier college football award for community service. And in 2013, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
“Like any quarterback, I 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.” Danny
After retiring from the NFL, Danny joined Desire Street Ministries and was named Executive Director in 2006. The ministry helps under-resourced areas across the Southeast by partnering with leaders to create thriving and sustainable neighborhoods. When ministry leaders thrive, they can reach hundreds of kids and families.
Occasionally, Danny will speak to corporate and non-profit groups, sharing inspirational talks drawn from his decorated college and professional career. He weaves his life-shaping football experiences into a challenge to serve others. You might also 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.
Fans may follow Danny on his new website dannywuerffel.com. You’ll find career highlights and awards, info on the Wuerffel Trophy, and a whole lot more! There’s also information on how to connect with Danny for a speaking engagement.
For those of you interested in the AFFL, Danny participated in the 2019 Championships with the Florida Fury. Their game against Fighting Cancer was an Instant Classic! A double-overtime thriller that had lightning offense, stout defense, and numerous lead changes. It’s already being called The Greatest Flag Football game ever played! Unfortunately for Danny and the Fury, they came up one extra-point short in 2OT, falling to Fighting Cancer, 41-40.
Not surprising, Fighting Cancer went on to win the AFFL Ultimate Final for the second year straight, and have an undeniable Flag Football dynasty going. What will 2020 bring? We’ll see…
Thanks for your support and for cheering on Danny’s team again this year!
DANNY’S WORK WITH DESIRE STREET
How Former Football Star Danny Wuerffel Turned Into a Real Hero
Atlanta Journal Constitution, February 7, 2020
UF’s Danny Wuerffel is Unfairly Overlooked in College Football History
FanBuzz, July 26, 2019
Danny Wuerffel joins, recruits former Florida players for pro flag football league
CBS Sports, March 21, 2018
Danny Wuerffel and the fight for forgotten America
Saturday Down South, April 16, 2017
ESPN documentary follows faith, works of former Saints quarterback Danny Wuerffel
The Advocate, August 25, 2015
ESPN to premiere Desire Street Academy documentary ‘Wuerffel’s Way’
The Times-Picayune, August 19, 2015
While Katrina changed his plans, former Saints QB Danny Wuerffel maintains his ministry’s presence in New Orleans
The Times-Picayune, July 6, 2015
Coach Wooden Citizen Cup Award – cancelled due to COVID-19
HOI’s 4th Annual Tony Barnhart Golf Classic – cancelled due to COVID-19
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.
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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GET TO KNOW DANNY
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 who 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.
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.
DANNY WUERFFEL SPEAKING REQUEST
WUERFFEL VIDEO PROFILE
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.
HEISMAN TO HEISMAN
Danny and Tim Tebow share thoughts about winning the Heisman.
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