/notables/2017/12/gagliardi-finalists-2017

Gagliardi final four are heading to Salem

Photos of each of the four finalists
From left to right: Jordan Wilcox, Brett Kasper, Matt Sacia and Nick Holcomb.
Photos by Steve Frommell, d3photpgraphy.com; Springfield athletics; UW-La Crosse athletics
 

Senior wide receiver Nick Holcomb from UW-La Crosse, senior quarterback Brett Kasper from UW-Oshkosh, junior quarterback Matt Sacia of Wartburg and senior fullback Jordan Wilcox of Springfield are finalists for the 2017 Gagliardi Trophy. The award is presented by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John’s University.

All-time Gagliardi Trophy winners

Mount Union players have won the Gagliardi Trophy seven times, while St. John's players have won three times and Wesley players have won twice. Here's the full list:

Year Player Pos. School
2016 Carter Hanson LB St. John's
2015 Joe Callahan QB Wesley
2014 Kevin Burke QB Mount Union
2013 Kevin Burke QB Mount Union
2012 Scottie Williams RB Elmhurst
2011 Michael Zweifel WR Dubuque
2010 Eric Watt QB Trine 
2009 Blaine Westemeyer OL Augustana
2008 Greg Micheli QB Mount Union
2007 Justin Beaver RB UW-Whitewater
2006 Josh Brehm QB Alma
2005 Brett Elliott QB Linfield
2004 Rocky Myers SS Wesley
2003 Blake Elliott WR St. John's
2002 Dan Pugh RB Mount Union
2001 Chuck Moore RB Mount Union
2000 Chad Johnson QB Pacific Lutheran
1999 Danny Ragsdale QB Redlands
1998 Scott Hvistendahl WR/P Augsburg
1997 Bill Borchert QB Mount Union
1996 Lon Erickson QB Illinois Wesleyan
1995 Chris Palmer WR St. John's
1994 Carey Bender RB Coe
1993 Jim Ballard QB Mount Union

These four finalists will be on hand as the 25th Gagliardi Trophy will be presented on Wednesday, Dec. 13, in Salem, Va., at a banquet kicking off the Division III championship weekend, which culminates in the Stagg Bowl on Friday, Dec. 15. The trophy ceremony will be broadcast by D3football.com.

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. 

Nominations were submitted by schools across the country, and the semifinalists were selected by the J-Club Board of Directors. The Gagliardi Trophy national-selection committee is comprised of 40 former college football players, former Gagliardi Trophy recipients, business leaders, academicians and sports writers from around the country. Each casts a ballot ranking the finalists.

Fans also voted online, and their tally, totaling 17,507 votes, represented the 41st committee member. Senior quarterback Evan Wyse from Trine received the highest number of online fan votes with 3,877.

Nominations were submitted by colleges across the country, and 10 semifinalists were selected by the J-Club Board of Directors. The Gagliardi Trophy national selection committee is comprised of 40 former college football players, former Gagliardi Trophy recipients, business leaders, academicians and sports writers from around the country. Each casts a ballot ranking the finalists.

The trophy design features a sculpture of Gagliardi and a player, representing the teacher-coach and the student-athlete in a one-on-one sideline consultation. Hand-cast in bronze on a polished wood base, the trophy stands nearly two feet tall and weighs approximately 64 pounds. The words "The Gagliardi Trophy presented by Jostens & J-Club” are printed on the acrylic panel behind the figures. The words “Division III 2017 Player of the Year" and "Honoring Excellence in Football, Academics and Community Service" are etched on two panels below the figures.

About the finalists

Nick Holcomb, UW-La Crosse
6-2, 190 | Senior | Wide Receiver | Finance and Management
Germantown, Wis. | Germantown High School

  • Had 80 catches and led Division III in receiving yards (1,401) and touchdowns (20), which are each single-season school records…set a school record with 15 receptions for 190 yards and two touchdowns against UW-Oshkosh in 2017…had four games with 10 or more receptions…caught a touchdown reception in nine of 10 regular-season games, and had at least two TD catches in six games…posted a four-touchdown, 263-yard receiving game against Ripon (Wis.)…set a school and WIAC single-game record with five receiving touchdowns against UW-River Falls this fall…volunteers with Veterans Day Breakfast and UW-La Crosse football camps…worked with local high school special needs students teaching life skills…participated in a “Walking School Bus,” leading children to school in the morning.

Brett Kasper, UW-Oshkosh
6-2, 215 | Senior | Quarterback | Supply Chain Management
Two Rivers, Wis. | Two Rivers High School

  • Named the 2017 WIAC Offensive Player of the Year for the second time in three seasons…completed 125 of 191 passes for 2,034 yards with 21 touchdowns and four interceptions in nine games…has a .654 completion percentage and a 186.99 pass-efficiency rating…threw for 317 yards and four touchdowns against Wisconsin-La Crosse this season, and passed for 339 yards and three scores against Wisconsin-Whitewater…has a career record of 37-5 in starting all four seasons for the Titans…led Oshkosh to appearance in the 2016 Stagg Bowl…in January 2017, was the first Division III captain of the Allstate AFCA Good Works team…volunteered with Be the Match…his bone marrow matched a girl in need of a transplant, and underwent the life-saving procedure…regularly volunteers with organizations, including Feeding America and Special Olympics.

Matt Sacia, Wartburg
6-2, 195 | Junior | Quarterback | Biology/Pre-Medicine
Eldridge, Iowa | North Scott High School

  • Voted the IIAC Offensive Most Valuable Player in 2017…led Knights to fifth undefeated regular season (10-0) in program history…completed 186 of 278 passes for 2,552 yards for 28 touchdowns and only three interceptions…had a school record five-touchdown performance against Nebraska Wesleyan Nov. 11, and tossed four touchdown passes in four other games…ranks seventh in Division III passing efficiency (175.1)…is a two-time All-IIAC selection, in addition to earning Academic All-IIAC honors…serves on the executive team for Wartburg’s Dance Marathon this year, after serving on the at-large committee last year…also volunteers at the annual Unified Sports Day, which is a day of activities with local Special Olympic athletes.

Jordan Wilcox, Springfield
6-1, 225 | Senior | Fullback | Finance
Saratoga Springs, N.Y. | Saratoga Springs High School

  • The Pride is averaging 450 yards rushing per game, the top rushing offense in the country at any level…Wilcox leads Division III in yards per rush (8.13), fourth in total rushing yards (1,675) and seventh in rushing touchdowns (19)…has rushed for over 200 yards in four games this season, and has five games with at least three touchdowns…named the NEWMAC Offensive Player of the Year….is 267 rushing yards away from breaking the program’s single-season rushing mark…two-time Liberty League All-Academic honoree…is a NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree this season…is involved with Team IMPACT, which supports children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses…has been involved with Be The Match, increasing awareness about bone marrow registry…also has participated in the annual St. Baldrick’s Children’s Cancer awareness event.
Sep. 19: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Manchester at Defiance
@ Defiance High School
Video Preview Live stats
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Moravian at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
Video Live stats
Sep. 21: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Alfred State at Rochester
Video Live stats Live stats
12:00 PM
Brockport at Buffalo State
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
DePauw at Kenyon
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Massachusetts Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Salve Regina at Dean
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Rowan at Hobart
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
TCNJ at St. John Fisher
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Juniata at Ursinus
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Westfield State at Framingham State
Video Preview Live stats
12:00 PM
Wesley at Endicott
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Amherst at Colby
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at Methodist
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Middlebury at Bates
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Merchant Marine
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bowdoin at Trinity (Conn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at Union
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Gallaudet at Apprentice
Live stats
1:00 PM
Hanover at Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Trine
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Westminster (Pa.)
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Wesleyan at Hamilton
Live stats Preview Video
1:00 PM
Aurora at Hope
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at Carnegie Mellon
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Guilford at Washington and Lee
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
WPI at Husson
Live stats
1:00 PM
Eureka at Albion
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Averett at Ferrum
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Southern Virginia
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Randolph-Macon
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Franklin and Marshall
Video Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Worcester State at Plymouth State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Lycoming
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Ohio Wesleyan
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Muhlenberg
Video Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wabash at Allegheny
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Widener
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Alvernia at Lebanon Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Gettysburg
Video Video Live stats Live stats
1:00 PM
Lakeland at Kalamazoo
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Greenville at Northwestern (Minn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at UW-Oshkosh
Video Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
MacMurray at Minnesota-Morris
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Carroll at Carthage
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Tufts at Williams
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Franklin at Bluffton
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Anderson at Mount St. Joseph
Live stats
1:30 PM
Bethany at Waynesburg
2:00 PM
John Carroll at Otterbein
Live stats
2:00 PM
Nichols at Anna Maria
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Coast Guard at Norwich
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Wilmington
Video Preview Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Rockford at Alma
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Iowa Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Thomas More at UW-Platteville
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. Olaf
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Concordia-Moorhead
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Buena Vista
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Howard Payne
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Centre at Austin
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Crown at St. Scholastica
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Augustana
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Coe at Loras
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Luther
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Millikin at North Park
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at St. Xavier
2:00 PM
Whittier at Lewis and Clark
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
2:10 PM
St. Thomas at Hamline
Video Live stats
2:30 PM
King's at Hartwick
Video Live stats
3:00 PM
Castleton at University of New England
Video Live stats Live stats
3:00 PM
Benedictine at Olivet
Live stats
3:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Adrian
Video Live stats
3:00 PM
Sul Ross State at McMurry
Video Live stats
3:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Dickinson St.
Audio
3:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Waldorf
3:00 PM
Occidental at Willamette
Video Live stats
3:30 PM
Western Connecticut at Bridgewater State
Live stats
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Pacific Lutheran at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Video Live stats
4:30 PM
Wooster at Wittenberg
Preview Live stats Audio
4:30 PM
Fitchburg State at Mass-Dartmouth
Video Preview Preview Live stats
5:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at Dakota St.
Live stats Audio
6:00 PM
Utica at RPI
Video Live stats Audio
6:00 PM
Western New England at Stetson
6:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Washington U.
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Muskingum at Marietta
Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hiram at Denison
Video Preview Live stats Live stats
7:00 PM
Bridgewater at Shenandoah
Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Brevard
Video Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Capital at Heidelberg
7:00 PM
Grove City at Case Western Reserve
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Thiel at Geneva
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Berry at Trinity (Texas)
Video Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Simpson at Dubuque
Video Live stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Sewanee
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at East Texas Baptist
Video Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Wheaton (Ill.)
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Louisiana College at Southwestern
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Belhaven at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio
8:00 PM
Rhodes at Millsaps
Video Live stats
10:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at George Fox
Video Preview Live stats
10:00 PM
Linfield at Redlands
Video Live stats Audio Audio
10:00 PM
Whitworth at Chapman
Video Preview Live stats Audio Tickets
10:00 PM
Pacific at Cal Lutheran
Video Live stats
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
Final
Johns Hopkins 17, at Randolph-Macon 12
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
Final
Salisbury 63, at Albright 28
Video Box Score
Final
Delaware Valley 37, at Kean 7
Video Box Score Recap
Sep. 7: All times Eastern
Final
North Central (Ill.) 43, at Christopher Newport 13
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Wesley 69, at Franklin Pierce 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Muhlenberg 45, TCNJ 26
Video Video Box Score
Final
Ithaca 66, at St. Vincent 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Susquehanna 42, Lycoming 26
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 16, Wittenberg 8
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at John Carroll 21, UW-Stevens Point 7
Video Box Score
Final
Centre 45, at Hanover 31
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Berry 31, at Maryville (Tenn.) 10
Box Score
Final
at Bethel 42, Simpson 10
Video Video Box Score
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 38, at Monmouth 0
Video Box Score
Final
St. John's 14, at UW-Stout 7
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final - OT
at UW-La Crosse 21, Concordia-Moorhead 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Whitworth 50, at La Verne 24
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 69, Trinity International 3
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 42, Dubuque 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Mount Union 66, at Rose-Hulman 14
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
Hardin-Simmons 64, at Sul Ross State 0
Box Score Photos
Final
Washington U. 43, at Chicago 7
Box Score Recap Photos