Augustana College's Westemeyer Named
NCAA Division III trophy named after legendary St. John’s football coach
Minneapolis - Dec 15, 2009

Blaine Westemeyer, Senior offensive tackle, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois has been named winner of the 2009 Gagliardi Trophy, awarded annually to the outstanding football player in NCAA Division III. Sponsored by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John’s University, Minnesota, the Gagliardi Trophy recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and community service.

Augustana head football coach Jim Barnes, who has been involved at the NCAA Division III level for almost 30 years, had this to say about his standout player. “Blaine is clearly the greatest player I have been associated with or coached,” said Barnes. “I have never seen a player who so clearly dominates his position. In addition, he is by far the most humble ‘achiever’ I have ever been associated with in sports. He goes about his business, with great success academically and athletically, quietly and without any fanfare.”

In the 17th year of the award program, Westemeyer is the first lineman to receive the Gagliardi Trophy. Past recipients include eight quarterbacks, four running backs, three wide receivers and a safety.

A resident of Overland Park, Kansas, Westemeyer is a four-year starter and team captain. He was selected first-team All-Conference three times and selected an All-American in both 2008 and 2009. He will play in the Stars and Stripes game on Dec. 19 in Mexico. A biochemistry major, Westemeyer is an Academic All-American and graduate scholarship recipient. Westemeyer is active with the Athletes Giving Back volunteer program in the Quad Cities.

Augustana President Steve Bahls had this to say about Westemeyer. “I confess that what I find most impressive about Blaine is his demonstrated commitment to servant leadership. In addition to his steadfast engagement with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee both for our college and the conference, and with Augustana’s Athletes Giving Back organization, Blaine’s volunteerism with Heartland Hospice – a local provider of care for those facing terminal illness – is nothing short of inspirational for me.”

In addition to being selected to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-American team this week, Westemeyer was one of 16 players to win a post graduate scholarship from the National Football foundation. He was named winner of the Jack Swartz award from the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin, the only three-time recipient in league history.

The Gagliardi Trophy selection was made by a 35-member national selection committee composed of coaches, sports writers, community leaders and former Division III student-athletes enshrined in the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame.

The Gagliardi trophy is named for Saint John’s University head football coach John Gagliardi, the first active head coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2006) and the winningest coach in college football history with a record of 471-126-11 (.784). Gagliardi set the all-time win record on November 8, 2003.

The Gagliardi trophy is named for Saint John’s University head football coach John Gagliardi, the first active head coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2006) and the winningest coach in college football history with a record of 471-126-11 (.784). Gagliardi set the all-time win record on November 8, 2003.

Additional information can be found at www.gojohnnies.com/gagliarditrophy

About Jostens

Minneapolis-based Jostens is a provider of products, programs and services that help people inspire achievement and preserve memories. The company's products include school yearbooks and memory books, OurHubbub™ brand MemoryBooks, scholastic products such as class rings and graduation products, and products for athletic champions and their fans. Jostens is a subsidiary of Visant Corporation, a marketing and publishing services enterprise servicing the school affinity, direct marketing, fragrance and cosmetics sampling and educational publishing market segments.

About Saint John’s University J-Club

Founded in 1959, the Saint John’s University J-Club is a dues-based booster organization of former Johnnie student-athletes, parents and fans, and plays a key role in support of the SJU varsity programs, intramurals and club sports.