Collegeville, Minn. – Dec. 5, 2017 – Springfield College's Jordan Wilcox (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) has been named one of four national finalists for the 2017 Gagliardi Trophy, honoring excellence in football, academics and community service in NCAA Division III.
Wilcox is joined by senior wide receiver Nick Holcomb from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, senior quarterback Brett Kasper from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and junior quarterback Matt Sacia of Wartburg College (Iowa) as finalists for the award, which is presented by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University.
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.
Wilcox and the other three finalists are headed to Salem, Virginia next week, when the 25th Gagliardi Trophy will be presented on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at a banquet kicking off the Division III championship weekend, which culminates in the Stagg Bowl on Friday, Dec. 15. In the 25 years that the trophy has been handed out, Wilcox is the first-ever Springfield College football student-athlete to be a finalist. In fact, since 1993, Wilcox is one of only 10 student-athletes from New England announced to be in consideration for the award.
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, and the top four are selected to the trophy presentation banquet.
Of the four finalists, Wilcox is the only one to have earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors this season, as the Finance major currently owns a 3.56 grade point average. On the field, the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Offensive Athlete of the Year finished the regular season ranked in the top five nationally in rushing yards (1,786), yards per game (162.4), yards per rush (7.83), and total touchdowns (23). Thanks to his efforts, Springfield returned back to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2006 after it put together just its third undefeated regular season in program history, going 10-0 en route to the inaugural NEWMAC title.
However, Wilcox's impact is even greater off the field, as the senior has been a leader within the program's involvement with Team IMPACT, specifically with 13-year old Luke Bradley and his current battle with leukemia. Wilcox has also been an advocate for a number of "Be The Match" drives of campus to help build the bone marrow registry, which have resulted in several members of the Springfield College community being selected to save a life. He has also participated in several St. Baldrick's Childhood Cancer Awareness events, as well as the Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk on campus with his teammates.