Beaver Earns Gagliardi Trophy For Top Player In Division III

Wisconsin-Whitewater senior running back Justin Beaver won the 2007 Gagliardi Trophy

Dec. 10, 2007

From UW-Whitewater Athletics

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater senior running back Justin Beaver is the 2007 recipient of the Gagliardi Trophy, emblematic of the top football player in Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. 

 

The award is named for the long-time coach at Saint John's University (MN).  The announcement of the selection was made by Thom Woodward, Saint John's University J-Club secretary and John Abel, sports marketing director for Jostens.  The J-Club coordinates the  process and Jostens is the sponsor of the award. 

 

Beaver will be presented with the trophy Thursday evening in Salem, Virginia as part of the festivities surrounding the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, the NCAA III football championship game.  Since UW-W has earned a berth in the Stagg Bowl, which will be played Saturday, the 15th at 3:00 (Central), his UW-W teammates will be on hand for the banquet and ceremony.


 

 

 

Beaver has rushed for 2,206 yards this season, averaging 157.6 yards per game and 5.1 per attempt.  He is the only back in UW-W history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, and he has done it twice.  In 2005 he set the NCAA III record with 2,420 yards rushing, when he also led all of collegiate football (any division or level) in total rushing yards.  He holds the UW-Whitewater, Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and NCAA III single season record, and is the career leader for both UW-W and the WIAC.  He is second on the NCAA III career rushing list with 6,335 yards.

 

Beaver has earned numerous honors, including multiple All-America recognition in both 2005 and 2006.  He is a three-time First Team All-WIAC pick, and is the 2007 WIAC Player of the Year and the WIAC Max Sparger Scholar Athlete for football.  Beaver added ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America for the 2007 season.

 

Beaver has been a key to UW-W's three straight appearances in the NCAA III championship game.  During that span the Warhawks have gone undefeated in WIAC play while earning titles three times, and have compiled a 41-3 record.  UW-W also has a streak of twenty-five consecutive home game wins.

 

Beaver is UW-Whitewater's first Gagliardi recipient.  Beaver was a finalist for the award in 2005, and defensive tackle Ryan Kleppe was a finalist last year.  Offensive tackle Derrick Levake was a finalist for the Melberger Award, the other top honor for a Division III player, in 1997. 

 

Beaver's honor marks the eighth time that a UW-Whitewater athlete has earned the top national honor in their sport.  Rob Llorca was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the 1990 and 1991 NCAA III championships, Allison Erickson won the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Player of the Year Award in 2001, and Jeremy Wendt was named the Male Field Athlete of the Meet at the 2002 NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championship.  Also Brady Endl was the NCAA III Player of the Year while playing first base and pitching for the Warhawks in 2004, Greg Reinhard earned the Division III Pitcher of the Year Award in 2005 (when position player and pitcher were split into distinct awards), and Ryan Kleppe was the D3football.com Defensive Player of the Year in 2006.

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