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1997 Sudler Presentation

Because of its tradition of excellence, the WVU Band was recognized in 1997 as the country's outstanding collegiate marching band by being named the recipient of the prestigious Sudler Trophy awarded by the John Philip Sousa Foundation.

sudler trophy

Often referred to as the Heisman Trophy for college marching bands, the Sudler Trophy, which "recognizes a long standing example of excellence and leadership among college marching band," had only been awarded to a total of 15 other university marching bands at the time of our selection. With this award, the Pride was recognized as 1997's outstanding college marching band and joins a list of previous recipients such as Michigan, Illinois, Ohio State and Texas - representing the nation's finest examples of this activity. It is important to understand that this award is NOT indicative of "winning the national college marching band contest," which would indicate one superb performance.

It is actually much more important because the Sudler Trophy is based on YEARS of outstanding performances - resulting in a tradition of excellence that becomes the normal expectation for the group. That is why we requested that our presentation would occur at Homecoming on October 4, 1997. Over the years, many alumni have helped the band obtain the level of excellence it enjoys today. What an awesome sight...700 band people on the field at one time receiving this award. This ceremony was the highlight of the 1997 marching band season and will be remembered indefinitely as a source of pride for our ensemble, University, and State.

Recipients of the Sudler Trophy:

1982 University of Michigan 1998 University of Massachusetts 
1983 University of Illinois 1999 Texas Tech University
1984 The Ohio State University 2000 University of Georgia
1985 Florida A&M University 2001 Texas A&M University
1986 University of Texas at Austin 2002
Louisiana State University
1987 University of Oklahoma 2003 University of Alabama
1988 Michigan State University 2004 Auburn University
1989 Kansas University
2005 Penn State University
1990 University of Iowa 2006 University of Arkansas
1991 Arizona State University 2007 Indiana University
1992 Northwestern University 2009 Western Carolina University
1993 UCLA 2011 University of Notre Dame
1994 James Madison University 2013 University of Florida
1995 Purdue University 2015 Kansas State University
1996 University of Nebraska 2017 Iowa State University
1997 West Virginia University 2019 West Chester University

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