You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

After valuable Tech ring is auctioned, original owner’s family emerges

For close to 60 years, Lewis Woodruff’s family has wondered what happened to the ring that the late Georgia Tech assistant coach received as part of the Yellow Jackets’ 1951 team that went 11-0-1 and won the Orange Bowl. They finally know – it’s being auctioned.

Lewis Woodruff Jr., a 61-year-old salesman who lives in Lawrenceville, said the family has believed that the ring was stolen in a home robbery when Woodruff Jr. was a toddler. It remained a mystery until Wednesday. After an AJC story reported on the auction of the ring and its likely original recipient – Woodruff’s initials, LCW, are engraved on the inside of the ring – a friend of the younger Woodruff heard it being discussed on local sports radio. The friend contacted Woodruff.

“I always heard legends of the ring, and nobody could ever find it again, and they thought it was gone with all the other stuff,” Woodruff said.

Woodruff got in touch with Lelands auction house, and the company has offered him a share of the ring’s sale. Woodruff acknowledged that, without any proof that it was once stolen, it would be difficult to make a claim on it.

“Of course, God only knows where the police report is,” Woodruff said.

Lewis Woodruff Sr. coached from 1947 to 1967 at Tech, serving for nearly the entirety of Bobby Dodd’s 22-year tenure and one year into Bud Carson’s. Over that time, the Woodruffs held onto all manner of memorabilia – playbooks, team pictures, helmets and coaching gear.

“They would have never sold (the ring),” Woodruff Jr. said.

The ring was a memento for Tech’s 1951 team that won the SEC, beat Baylor in the Orange Bowl and finished No. 5 in the country.

Bidding on the ring closed Friday evening and had skyrocketed in recent days. Starting at $300 on February 20 and rising to $777 on Tuesday, the high bid as of Friday afternoon was $3,570.

Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the ring. It was the team ring from the 1951 season.

Tech team ring auction heats up just before ending

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Bazemore returns after missing five games
Bazemore returns after missing five games

The Hawks got a little healthier Wednesday. Kent Bazemore returned after missing five games with a right knee bone bruise. Bazemore will come off the bench and be under a minute restriction against the 76ers, according to Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. The Hawks will again be without starters Paul Millsap (left knee synovitis) and Thabo Sefolosha (right...
Quinn: Julio Jones in ‘strengthening phase’ after foot surgery
Quinn: Julio Jones in ‘strengthening phase’ after foot surgery

Falcons coach Dan Quinn gave an injury update on All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones when meeting with reporters at the owners’ meeting in Arizona on Wednesday. Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that his recovery from foot surgery was progressing. “Julio is doing good,” Quinn said. “He had surgery on his foot...
Trufant to be ready for training camp
Trufant to be ready for training camp

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the team will hold cornerback Desmond Trufant, a former Pro Bowler, out of the offseason OTA practices, but expect him to be ready for training camp in late July. Trufant is recovering from torn pectoral muscle that caused him to miss the final seven games of the regular season. He had one interception, 30 tackles and two...
Quinn plans for ‘authentic’ Ryan-Sarkisian bond
Quinn plans for ‘authentic’ Ryan-Sarkisian bond

Falcons coach Dan Quinn is concerned about making sure that quarterback Matt Ryan and new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian click immediately. It’s been documented that Ryan and former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan weren’t singing from the same hymnbook in 2015. They quickly ironed out their issues and Ryan earned his first most...
Quinn believes young team will develop in 2017
Quinn believes young team will develop in 2017

While trying to rebound from the devastating Super Bowl loss, Falcons coach Dan Quinn believes the youth of the team will be a plus. “We have 63 of 64 guys now (under contract), and 32 of them are going into year two to four,” Quinn said when speaking to reporters at the owners meeting in Arizona on Wednesday. “That fires (general...
More Stories