COLLEGEVILLE, MINN. - Trine senior quarterback Evan Wyse is one of 10 players named as semifinalists for the 2017 Gagliardi Trophy, an award presented by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University (Minn.) to the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III.
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 in 2012 with 489 career victories, the most in college football history.
The MIAA has boasted two Gagliardi Trophy winners since the award's inception: Alma's Josh Brehm in 2006, and Trine's Eric Watt in 2010.
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 four finalists, who will be announced Dec. 5, will be on hand for the announcement of the winner and presentation of the trophy at the banquet.
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.
Nominations were submitted by colleges across the country, and the final 10 were selected by the J-Club Board of Directors. The Gagliardi Trophy national-selection committee is comprised of 40 former small college football players, former Gagliardi Trophy recipients, business leaders, academicians and sports writers from around the country. Each casts a ballot ranking the 10 semifinalists. A fan vote, which will serve as the 41st committee member, is live on D3football.comand runs until Monday, Dec. 4: http://www.d3football.com/notables/2017/11/gagliardi-voting.