Kasper wins Gagliardi Trophy

More news about: UW-Oshkosh
Brett Kasper is just the second WIAC player and second player from a state school to win the Gagliardi Trophy.
Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

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:

Year Player Pos. School
2017 Brett Kasper QB UW-Oshkosh
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/RET 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

UW-Oshkosh quarterback Brett Kasper was named winner of the 2017 Gagliardi Trophy on Wednesday night, Dec. 13, in Salem, Va., as part of the festivities surrounding Stagg Bowl XLV.

Kasper beat out other finalists in UW-La Crosse wide receiver Nick Holcomb, Wartburg quarterback Matt Sacia and Springfield running back Jordan Wilcox to take home the trophy.

Kasper completed 65 percent of his passes in leading UW-Oshkosh to the national semifinals. Kasper threw for 3,025 yards and 34 touchdowns, with just six interceptions. But more importantly, he is a champion of the Be The Match program, and his bone marrow matched with Phoenix Bridegroom, a now-11-year-old girl from Indiana. His bone marrow saved her life.

"Talk about bittersweet. I sat in this very room last year with a different perspective," Kasper said. "Sitting out there and looking up here I tried envisioning myself being nominated as one of the four finalists for the highest award in Division III football. I'm not going to lie -- it was tough to envision that last year, due to the prestigious award that it is, and the caliber of player that is nominated for it. But if anything, it fueled the belief that I could be, and that was enough."

"He's been this kid ever since I met him as a high school senior, and it's too good a story," said Oshkosh coach Pat Cerroni. "Someone like him, everything's too good. There's no flaws. And I'm really proud of him."

Holcomb was the runner-up in the voting. Trine quarterback Evan Wyse was the winner of the fan voting, conducted on D3football.com.

The other Gagliardi Trophy semifinalists were North Central running back Austin Breunig, Wesley tackle Matt Gono, East Texas Baptist linebacker Ty Parsons, Husson running back John Smith, Trine quarterback Evan Wyse and Washington & Jefferson wide receiver Jesse Zubik.

You can watch the archived broadcast below.

Dec. 14: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Mount Union 16
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 8: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 31, UW-Whitewater 14
Box Score Recap Photos
at Mount Union 28, Johns Hopkins 20
Video Box Score Recap Photos
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