/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. 5: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Capital at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Randolph-Macon
Live stats
7:00 PM
Buena Vista at Hamline
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
McMurry at Trinity (Texas)
Video
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at Millsaps
8:00 PM
Lake Forest at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live stats
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Nichols at Dean
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Curry
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Worcester State at WPI
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Kean
7:00 PM
Alvernia at Gallaudet
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Becker
Live stats
7:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Hope at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio
10:00 PM
Chapman at Pacific
Sep. 7: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
12:00 PM
Norwich at Salve Regina
Live stats
12:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Merchant Marine
Live stats
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at MIT
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Alfred State at Mass-Dartmouth
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Wesley at Franklin Pierce
Live stats Tickets
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
TCNJ at Muhlenberg
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Allegheny at RPI
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Morrisville State at Bridgewater State
Live stats
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Cortland
Live stats
12:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
Greensboro at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Western Connecticut at William Paterson
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Catholic
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Hartwick
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Southern Virginia
Live stats
1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Methodist at Shenandoah
Live stats
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Washington and Lee
Video
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
Live stats
1:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Emory and Henry
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Alma
Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Ithaca at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Alfred at Thiel
1:00 PM
Westfield State at Union
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Misericordia at McDaniel
1:00 PM
Coast Guard at University of New England
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Mayville St. at St. Scholastica
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
Live stats
1:30 PM
Geneva at Mount St. Joseph
Live stats
1:30 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
UW-Stevens Point at John Carroll
2:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live stats
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Simpson at Bethel
2:00 PM
Coe at Augustana
2:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at UW-Platteville
Live stats
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Southwestern at Sewanee
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Greenville
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2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
Live stats
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Crown at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at UW-La Crosse
2:00 PM
St. John's at UW-Stout
Audio
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Ripon
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Howard Payne at Austin
Live stats
2:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Monmouth
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Central
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at Aurora
2:00 PM
Carthage at UW-Oshkosh
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Nebraska Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Luther at Whittier
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Whitworth at La Verne
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at Lewis-Clark Valley
2:10 PM
Loras at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Dubuque at UW-Whitewater
3:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
Video
3:00 PM
Redlands at George Fox
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Puget Sound
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
North Park at Anderson
Live stats
6:00 PM
Heidelberg at Adrian
Live stats
6:00 PM
Defiance at Albion
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6:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
6:00 PM
Moravian at King's
6:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
Live stats
6:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Beloit
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Marietta at Hiram
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Rochester
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Denison
Video Live stats Live stats
7:00 PM
Mount Union at Rose-Hulman
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Olivet at Wilmington
Live stats
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Live stats
7:00 PM
Franklin at Benedictine
Live stats
7:00 PM
Washington U. at Chicago
Video Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Knox at Eureka
7:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
7:00 PM
Louisiana College at Stetson
7:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Sul Ross State
Audio
7:00 PM
Rhodes at Illinois College
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell

D3football.com Top 25, preseason

The D3football.com Top 25, entering the 2019 season. This is the 17th season of the D3football.com Top 25.

Rank School (No. 1 votes) W-L Points  

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1 Mary Hardin-Baylor (24) 15-0 624
2 Mount Union (1) 14-1 599
3 St. John's 12-1 566
4 UW-Whitewater 12-1 555
5 North Central (Ill.) 10-2 482
6 Johns Hopkins 12-2 457
7 St. Thomas 8-2 414
8 Muhlenberg 11-2 405
9 Hardin-Simmons 9-2 397
10 Bethel 11-2 396  
11 Whitworth 10-1 336  
12 Linfield 7-2 291  
13 Brockport 11-1 230  
14 Delaware Valley 9-2 223  
15 Illinois Wesleyan 8-2 197  
16 Berry 10-2 190  
17 John Carroll 9-2 168  
18 Wittenberg 9-1 162  
19 RPI 10-2 152  
20 Centre 10-2 137  
21 Washington and Jefferson 9-2 132  
22 Wheaton (Ill.) 8-2 109  
23 Wabash 9-1 105  
24 Randolph-Macon 9-3 91  
25 St. Norbert 10-2 83

Others receiving votes: Trine 73; UW-La Crosse 71; Wartburg 61; Wesley 59; Washington U. 58; Montclair State 49; Alfred 48; Ithaca 42; UW-Oshkosh 40; Central 29; Case Western Reserve 25; Baldwin Wallace 20; Salisbury 15; Trinity (Texas) 10; Hope 10; Redlands 6; Marietta 3; Trinity (Conn.) 3, MIT 2.

The D3football.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members from across the country, and is published weekly. Points are awarded on a 25-24-23-22-etc. basis.