As I have mentioned many times before, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have an unusually high number of rivalry trophies- or traveling trophies if you prefer. One of those, is the Rip Miller Trophy with Navy.
Whether you care about these things or not, they exist and are proudly on display outside of Brian Kelly’s office at Notre Dame.
The Rip Miller Trophy is named after the legendary Rip Miller. Miller was one of Notre Dame’s 7 Mules that blocked for the 4 Horsemen. He then went on to coach for Navy and then became their Athletic Director. He was one of the central figures in the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland sending students to Notre Dame during WWII. This was needed because so many of Notre Dame’s students went off to fight inthe war. It saved the school, and it is why Notre Dame and the Navy Midshipmen will play a football game every year until the second coming-and beyond. It’s all about “mutual respect.”
ND Club of Maryland member Peter Trophy (ND ’88) designed the trophy, working with Jason Hardebeck of the Baltimore Chapter of the Naval Academy Alumni Association, and engaged multiple craftsmen to implement the design.
Different from a typical rivalry trophy that is held by the winner each year and inscribed with the score of the game, the Rip Miller Trophy is composed of two symmetric halves, each of which will be inscribed with the names of the team’s captains for each year and will be held by the respective institutions during the year, being reunited whenever possible for the weekend of the annual game. Notre Dame’s half will reside in the trophy case outside the Alumni Association office in the Eck Center.
Notre Dame and Navy will renew this “rivalry” once again in Jacksonville, Florida this weekend.