All-American senior quarterback Eric Watt from Trine (Ind.) University was named the winner of the 2010 Gagliardi Trophy, awarded annually to the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III. Presented Thursday night in Salem, Virginia, the Gagliardi Trophy is sponsored by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University of Minnesota.
The Gagliardi Trophy, presented annually since 1993, recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and community service. The award is named after John Gagliardi, Saint John's legendary Hall of Fame head football coach who has 478 career victories, the most in college football history. Gagliardi, the first active head coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2006), set the all-time win record on November 8, 2003.
2010 Gagliardi Trophy Winner:
Eric Watt, Trine senior QB from Kentland, Ind.
Quarterback on the American Football Coaches Association All-American team and his conference offensive MVP, Watt led Trine to its third consecutive Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship. The team finished the season 11-1.He was rated No. 1 in D-III passing efficiency (182.05), completing 67% of his passes for 2,873 yards and 33 touchdowns with only six interceptions.Watt is a finance major and a member of Delta Mu Delta (business leader society) and Chi Alpha Sigma (national collegiate athlete honor society).He has been involved in several community service activities including Relay for Life, Walk for Diabetes and Take Back the Night.
2010 Gagliardi Trophy Finalists:
Matt Hoffman, Rowan (N.J.) senior DE from Burlington, N.J. All-conference performer named league’s defensive player of the year.
Ben McLaughlin, Louisiana College senior QB from Pineville, La. National leader in passing yardage with 377/game and TD passes with 42 (13 INTs).
Kyle Ray, Franklin senior QB from Trafalgar, Ind. Rated #1 in passing efficiency nationally at 193.29 with 32 TDs, 7 INTs; 11th in total offense with 291.3 yards/game.
A total of 26 senior football players from around the country were nominated by their college president with letters of recommendation coming from their coach. The final four were selected by a national committee composed of 35 former small college football players, business leaders, academicians and sports writers from around the country.
The trophy design features a sculpture of Gagliardi and a player representing the teacher-coach and the student-athlete in a classic one-on-one sideline consultation. Hand-cast in bronze on a polished wood base, the trophy stands nearly two-feet tall and weighs 64 pounds. The words “Division III Player of the Year” and "Honoring Excellence in Football, Academics and Community Service" are etched in glass on two panels flanking the figures.
Additional information can be found at www.gojohnnies.com/gagliarditrophy.
Minneapolis-based Jostens is a provider of products, programs and services that help people tell their stories, celebrate important traditions and recognize achievements. The company’s products include school yearbooks and other memory book products, 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 and trade publishing 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. Saint John’s is a private liberal arts college for men located in Collegeville, Minn.