|St. John's linebacker Carter Hanson, flanked by his parents, holds the 2016 Gagliardi Trophy.
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
Carter Hanson was named winner of the 2016 Gagliardi Trophy on Wednesday night, Dec. 14, in Salem, Va., as part of the festivities surrounding Stagg Bowl XLIII.
Hanson, a linebacker from St. John's, beat out other finalists in Monmouth linebacker Matt Barnes, Coe running back Trevor Heitland and Linfield quarterback Sam Riddle to take home the trophy.
Hanson is just the second defensive player to win the award. The first was Rocky Meyers, Wesley strong safety, who took home the honor in 2004.
"Football is just a game, but that game teaches you so much about life, how to conduct yourself, how to battle through adversity and keep pushing forward," Hanson said afterward. "When you take that, the classroom, the community, where my parents taught me growing up that you had to do your part in all aspects of life, I just kept that mentality."
Hanson, a D3football.com All-Region awardee in 2016 and a 2015 D3football.com All-America selection, has a 4.0 grade-point average as a global business leadership major at St. John's.
The Gagliardi Trophy, given 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 retired after the 2012 season with 489 career victories, the most in college football history.
Trevor Heitland was the runner-up in the voting. Linebacker Cory Ward of Hardin-Simmons was the winner of the fan voting, conducted on D3football.com.
The other Gagliardi Trophy semifinalists were UW-Whitewater defensive lineman John Flood, Alfred linebacker A.J. LiCata, Mary Hardin-Baylor safety/punter Baylor Mullins, Washington U. quarterback J.J. Tomlin, Ward and Hendrix running back Dayton Winn.
You can watch the archived broadcast below.
All-time Gagliardi Trophy winners
Mount Union players have won the Gagliardi Trophy seven times, while St. John's has won three times and Wesley twice. Here's the full list:
|2016||Carter Hanson||LB||St. John's|
|2014||Kevin Burke||QB||Mount Union|
|2013||Kevin Burke||QB||Mount Union|
|2008||Greg Micheli||QB||Mount Union|
|2003||Blake Elliott||WR/RET||St. John's|
|2002||Dan Pugh||RB||Mount Union|
|2001||Chuck Moore||RB||Mount Union|
|2000||Chad Johnson||QB||Pacific Lutheran|
|1997||Bill Borchert||QB||Mount Union|
|1996||Lon Erickson||QB||Illinois Wesleyan|
|1995||Chris Palmer||WR||St. John's|
|1993||Jim Ballard||QB||Mount Union|