Troy University alumnus DeMarcus Ware, a member of the 2016 Super Bowl Champions Denver Broncos, will deliver the keynote address to graduates and receive an honorary doctorate during fall commencement ceremonies on the Troy Campus, Dec. 15.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. inside Trojan Arena. More than 600 graduates, representing 23 states, the District of Columbia and 14 different nations, are expected to receive diplomas during the ceremony. The ceremony will also include the awarding of the University’s first Ph.D. degree in Sport Management.
Ware, a 2005 TROY graduate who was the University’s first-ever, first-round draft pick when taken 11th overall by the Dallas Cowboys, announced his retirement following the Super Bowl-winning season and earlier this year, signed a one-day contract with Dallas to retire as a Cowboy.
The Auburn native didn’t even play football until his junior year at Auburn High School, where he also participated in basketball, baseball and track. Yet as a senior, he earned Team MVP honors. During a historic stint at Troy University, he set a school record for tackles for loss (57) and finished second all-time in sacks at TROY with 27.5.
During his time with the Cowboys, Ware became the team’s all-time leader in sacks and forced fumbles during his nine seasons in Dallas.
In 2014, he signed with the Broncos, where he was a leader on the top-ranked defense in the NFL for the 2015 season. The Broncos’ defense was the star in the team’s 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Ware recorded five tackles and two sacks in the Super Bowl victory.
Ware’s NFL career places him in elite company. He is one of just 29 members of the elusive “100 Sack Club,” achieving that mark in the second fastest time in NFL history behind only Hall of Famer Reggie White. He is one of just three players in league history with seven consecutive 10-sack seasons and one of only six players to lead the NFL in sacks twice (2008 and 2010). He was named to the Pro Bowl nine times, including seven straight appearances that coincided with seven consecutive All Pro selections. In 2008, he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and in 2012, he was named to the Troy University Athletics Hall of Fame. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history and a first-ballot Hall of Fame candidate.
His achievements aren’t limited to those on the field. He has two children, daughter Marley and son DeMarcus Jr. On two occasions, he’s won the Butkus Award, given to athletes who are committed to playing steroid-free. Ware has also dedicated himself to numerous charitable organizations, particularly those benefiting children and feeding the hungry.
In 2016, Ware received TROY’s 15th Distinguished Leadership Award and was honored by his home-state as April 19, 2016, was declared “DeMarcus Ware Day” in Alabama. He also was presented with a legislative proclamation in a special joint session of the Alabama Legislature.