Taking part in the presentation were (from left) Athletics Director Mike Theulen, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jeanne Hart Steffes, Director of Alumni Relations Kathy Pappas, Emery, University president Anthony S. Caprio, Liberty Mutual Senior National Account Manager Shawnah Farrell, Lead Sales Representative Matthew Hastings '98, and Senior Branch Manager Gregory Rankowitz.
The Western New England Alumni Association signed up to participate in the program and earned the award in the Division III category after having the highest percentage of fan votes based on the number of school alumni in the first round of voting.
The Alumni Association donated the money to the Golden Bears football program and Emery in turn, donated $1,000 to the local Rebuilding Together Springfield organization, his designated charity for the contest.
Emery finished in the top 15 in the initial stage after being recognized for displaying exceptional Sportsmanship, Integrity, Responsibility, and Excellence. He advanced to the final round and finished third in the national balloting for the NCAA Division III Coach-of-the-Year.
This past season, Western New England posted a school-record 10-2 mark, which included a perfect 7-0 for first place in the Boyd Division of the New England Football Conference (NEFC) The Golden Bears then captured their first NEFC title with a victory over Framingham State and made their inaugural appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship dropping a first round contest at Salisbury (MD).
"This is a special award and I'm very appreciative and honored," said Emery. "The process was a lot of fun and it caught fire as the season progressed and our team continued to win. It was a memorable part of an historic season."
Emery's squad was equally impressive off the field participating in numerous community service projects, including the Rebuilding Together Springfield initiative. His team will participate for the sixth straight year in the organization's National Rebuilding Day this Saturday (Apr. 28).
Colleen Loveless '84, G'93 is the Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Springfield while Ethel Griffin serves as the Program Manager.