In the foyer of Georgia Tech’s Edge Center, in a large glass cabinet sits the national championship trophy Georgia Tech earned in 1990. It’s the first thing visitors see as they walk into the expansive room.
The message is clear: This is what we have done. This is what we can do.
But there’s another trophy honoring that team. It’s one few Tech fans have seen.
After being proudly displayed by Bobby Ross, the coach that led Tech to its 11-0-1 record, outside his office, it was relegated to a closet by his successor, Bill Lewis.
But now it’s back, courtesy of the man who made it.
Danny Farrer grew up in Louisville, Ga. He enrolled in Tech and served as a trainer for Bobby Dodd and Bud Carson, eventually graduating with a degree in building construction in 1969.
He followed the Yellow Jackets through the years from his residence in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
And then things started happening in 1990. They beat N.C. State, South Carolina and Clemson. They tied North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Farrer began to realize that the Yellow Jackets were doing something special. After they upset No. 1 Virginia, 41-38, in Charlottesville, he wanted to show his enthusiasm for his team’s accomplishment.
He was working with Corian, the same material that kitchen countertops are constructed from, for Dupont. He had a lot of spare parts sitting around, so little by little he began to design and construct a trophy. Ninety days later, it was done. When put on its base, the trophy is 64 inches tall, with four columns stretching from the bottom to the top. It looks like granite with a silver cup on top and a plaque on the base that reads:
This unique trophy was designed and built
by Precision Industries
in honor of Ga. Tech’s 1990 National Championship
ON LOAN FROM GA. TECH LETTERWINNER’S CLUB
Ross came to speak to the Atlanta letterwinner’s club during the spring of 1991 and Farrer gave him the trophy. Ross put it outside the door of his office.
When Farrer would drive from his home to Tennessee back to Louisville, he would stop in and see Ross and his trophy.
After Ross left for the NFL, Lewis put the trophy away.
Farrer learned what happened the next time he visited the letterwinner’s club. They had taken possession of the trophy. Farrer wanted it back to help him advertise a collegiate merchandising company he used to own.
Because this is the 20th anniversary of the championship team, Farrer was trying to contact someone at Tech to see if they would like the trophy back. When Middle Tennessee State came to play, Farrer, who is also a fan of the Blue Raiders, came to watch.
Finally, someone put him in touch with Wayne Hogan, Tech’s associate athletic director, and they began to exchange e-mails.
“It is a very nice gesture that you want to return this piece to Georgia Tech Athletics,” Hogan wrote as part of an email.
“This is great news. I’m sure you’ll find appropriate times to display this piece,” Farrer responded.
So on Wednesday, during a horrible rain storm, Farrer brought the trophy home.
Hogan asked if he wanted anything in exchange.
A true fan, the only thing he wanted was his photo taken with the Ramblin’ Wreck. His request was granted.
Farrer owns a ‘31 Ford, which he inherited from his father. He wants to fix it up for Middle Tennessee State to use, so he used the photo shoot as a chance to exercise his engineer’s curiosity about the mirrors, flag-holders and running board on the Wreck.
He said he’s not sure if he’s coming back for the championship reunion, scheduled for the weekend of the Nov. 13 game against Miami. Hogan said they will take the trophy to the events for the team. And then it may be added to one of Tech’s trophy cases at the Edge Center.
It doesn’t matter to Farrer. He has the memories of the team…and the trophy.
“That was a magical year for us,” he said.