University of Wisconsin Oshkosh quarterback Nate Wara has been announced as one of the final four candidates for the Gagliardi Trophy, which is presented annually to the most outstanding football player in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III.
The Gagliardi Trophy, which is sponsored by the J-Club of St. John’s University (Minn.) and Jostens, will be presented at a banquet on Dec. 12 in Salem, Va. The banquet kicks off a series of Stagg Bowl championship events and will be streamed live on D3football.com.
Wara, a senior from Oshkosh, has led UW Oshkosh to its finest season in the program’s 118-year history. The fifth-ranked Titans captured the WIAC championship for the first time in 36 years and will take a 13-0 record into Saturday’s (Dec. 8) semifinal of the NCAA Division III Championship against the University of St. Thomas (Minn.).
Read more about Wara’s accomplishment here.
Wara’s recognition follows two other significant recognitions for UW Oshkosh Athletics and, in particular, the WIAC champion Titans football team this week.
The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) has named UW Oshkosh head football coach Pat Cerroni the 2012 NCAA Division III Region 5 Coach of the Year, while he remains a finalist for the 2012 Liberty Mutual NCAA Division III Coach of the Year Award.
Cerroni, who’s guided the Titans to a team 13-0 record, is in his sixth season leading UW Oshkosh. Fifth-ranked UW Oshkosh has won 15 consecutive contests for the longest active streak in NCAA football.
Read more about Cerroni’s recognition here.
Meanwhile, UW Oshkosh center Ben Strehlow, a senior from Brandon, was named one of 24 men on the 2012 Capital One Division III Academic All-America Team. Members of the College Sports Information Directors of America selected the NCAA squad.
A starter in all 13 games for the undefeated Titans, Strehlow anchors an offensive line that is among the finest in the nation.
Academically, Strehlow, who is majoring in economics, owns a 3.72 grade-point average. He is the sixth UW Oshkosh football player and the first since 2002 to earn Academic All-America status.
Read more about Strehlow’s accomplishment here.