New Magnolia Bowl trophy livens historic rivalry

Posted on Feb 14 2014 - 8:18am by Sara Rogers

The University of Mississippi Associated Student Body and Louisiana State University Student Government recently agreed to redesign the Magnolia Bowl trophy.

Will Hopkins, owner of furniture store The Green Door Company, is designing the new trophy. It will be presented the first weekend in April as part of the Grove Bowl festivities.

The Magnolia Bowl was given its title in 2008 in hopes of highlighting this historic rivalry that dates back to 1894.

“(The Ole Miss and LSU rivalry) has been one of the longest running rivalries in college football,” said Mary Kate Berger, ASB athletics committee chairman and sophomore political science and public policy leadership major. “We want the trophy to be a better representation of that victory.”

The bill to redesign the trophy was passed in Senate last Tuesday at Ole Miss. The bill was then passed Wednesday at LSU. The two schools have been working since October to finalize the decision.

Just weeks after Ole Miss’s victory over LSU this past October, Athletic Director Ross Bjork and Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing Jason List contacted Will Hopkins requesting he submit ideas for the trophy redesign.

“Will did some research and was able to find preserved wood from the Woodland Tree Company,” Missy Hopkins, wife of Will Hopkins said. “He is using the existing bronze magnolia from the original trophy in addition to Magnolia wood from the Ole Miss campus and Cyprus wood from Louisiana.”

Berger said the schools will split a $2500 fee for using The Green Door Company and the Woodland Tree Company for the design and construction of the new trophy.

“It should represent the history of the Magnolia Bowl and our rivalry towards each other,” said Grant Tarleton, sophomore mass communications major from LSU.

Some students, however, say they are more worried about the game itself than the new trophy.

“I just want to see us beat LSU,” said Laura Lee McHenry, sophomore elementary education major. “The new trophy is great, but it doesn’t mean much without that win.”

Each person involved has worked together to make this redesign possible. From the students to the athletic directors and finally the designer, the redesign seems to have a more personal touch for some.

“My father played Ole Miss football on the championship team for Coach Vaught,” Missy Hopkins said. “Back then they were huge rivals, so it’s something I grew up with. Now that my husband is designing a trophy that signifies that history … it means so much more to me than just a trophy.”

— Sara Rogers