IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior linebacker Jay Higgins was announced as the unanimous winner of the 2023 Duke Slater Golden Gavel Award, which was voted upon by a group of Iowa media members who cover the program on a regular basis.
Higgins, an Indianapolis native, is the third winner of the annual award. He joins inaugural winner Kaevon Merriweather (2021) and Spencer Petras (2022) as Golden Gavel recipients.
By description, “The Golden Gavel will go to the Iowa football player, who not only is most cooperative with local media, but exhibits themself with professional integrity in all interactions.”
“Every reporter, from print to television, who covers Iowa mentioned Jay Higgins first when it came to this award,” said Scott Dochterman, a sportswriter with The Athletic who presented Higgins with the Golden Gavel. “The class and professionalism with which Jay displayed in all situations, not only was impressive, it was truly remarkable.”
The award is named after Duke Slater, who was a charter member of the College Football Hall of Fame and a 2021 inductee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Slater earned his law degree from the University of Iowa while playing in the NFL, and he became the first African-American elected to the Cook County Superior Court. The playing surface at Kinnick Stadium was renamed Duke Slater Field in summer 2021.