It took more than two decades, but Army has, by way of the President of the United States of America, finally gotten its hands again on some significant service academy football hardware.
In December, Army beat Navy when its rival’s last-second field-goal attempt fell short. Combined with Army’s win over Air Force earlier in the season, it meant that the Black Knights had staked its claim to the 2017 version of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, handed out annually since 1972 to the service academy that wins that season’s three-way football series.
The last time Army won the trophy (1996), the president was Bill Clinton; this time around, the Oval Office is occupied by Donald Trump, who in a White House ceremony Tuesday afternoon awarded the trophy to the reigning service academy champions.
The Black Knights will be looking to win back-to-back Commander-in-Chief Trophies for the first time in the honor’s history. All told, Army has claimed the trophy seven times, compared to 20 for Air Force and 15 for Navy. On four occasions (1974, 1976, 1980, 1993) the award was shared, with the winner the previous year retaining possession of the physical trophy.
Army is the second college football team to visit the White House this offseason. Earlier this month, Alabama, with Nick Saban famously calling recruits during it, took its trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate the Crimson Tide claiming the 2017 national championship.