Marcus Mariota’s Heisman Trophy stand at UO is union made

Heisman display at UOBy Michael Gutwig, Editor & Manager

Workers at Specialty Metal Fabricators of Portland, a signatory contractor with Sheet Metal Workers Local 16, made the elaborate stand that holds former University of Oregon (UO) quarterback Marcus Mariota’s Heisman Trophy.

Display in workshop
Photos courtesy of Specialty Metal Fab

The eight-level diamond-shaped stand is constructed from 11 gauge No. 8 stainless steel, and required 84 linear feet of Tig welding. It stands about four feet tall, and is 55 inches wide at the top. The four-man union crew put in a little over 200 hours fabricating, polishing to a mirror finish, delivering, and installing the trophy stand at the university’s Hatfield-Dowlin football center.

The trophy display and stand were designed by Nike. As reported by Rob Moseley of, the display was inspired by Mariota’s Heisman acceptance speech, and engineered with the theme of the No. 8. “Not only did Mariota wear No. 8 with the Ducks [and now wears No. 8 with the Tennessee Titans of the NFL], but there are eight Hawaiian islands — incorporated into the display as large black marble benches behind the trophy,” he wrote.

Heisman display in progressThe eight levels on the trophy stand represent Mariota’s parents and brother, his roots in the islands, his youth football and high school football coaches, his coaches and fans at Oregon, and Autzen Stadium.

“It was a real honor to build something for such an impeccable human being as Marcus Mariota,” said project manager Rich Watt, a 28-year member of Local 16 and an avid Ducks fan.

“We were glad to be a part of it. Marcus is such a great guy,” added Local 16 member and company owner Doug Metz, a Mariota fan whose allegiance is with the Oregon State Beavers.

Specialty Metal Fab is a 16-year-old union company with 17 employees. It does a wide range of fabrication work — from Mom and Pop projects to jobs for most of the major general contractors in Oregon.

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