Collegeville, Minn. - November 20, 2018 - Springfield College's Nick Giorgio (Cumberland, R.I.) was one of 13 student-athletes from across the nation to be named a semifinalist for the 2018 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.
10 seniors and three juniors make up the 13 semifinalists for the trophy, which is awarded by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University of Minnesota. The candidates include six quarterbacks, two running backs, one wide receiver, two defensive ends and two linebackers. The 39-member Gagliardi Trophy national selection committee, comprised of former small college football players, former Gagliardi Trophy recipients, business leaders, academics and media members from around the country, review the credentials, rank the candidates 1-13, and cast their votes. Fan balloting, which is available on D3football.com, accounts for the 40th ballot, and is being conducted on D3football.com for the ninth consecutive year. Fans will be permitted to cast one ballot per device, through 1 p.m. ET on Dec. 3. D3football.com will reveal the finalists on a live streaming broadcast on the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 6.
This marks the second-straight season that Springfield College has had a national semifinalist for this prestigious award. Last season, Springfield's Jordan Wilcox finished as a national finalist for the year following a historic year as the Pride's star fullback. In fact, Springfield College was one of only three football programs in the country to have a semifinalist in each of the last two seasons, and only one to have both an offensive and defensive student-athlete recognized. Giorgio is the only student-athlete from New England to be a 2018 Gagliardi Trophy semifinalist.
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.
Giorgio, a Business Management major, was named the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Athlete of the Year for the second-straight season as he totaled 82 tackles, including 29 tackles-for-loss and 14 sacks, to go along with four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two blocked kicks. Giorgio currently ranks second among all active college football players for career tackles-for-loss per game (1.91), is the Division III active leader for career forced fumbles (9), while his 82 tackles was the third most for a defensive end in Division III football this year. He will graduate as Springfield's all-time leader in career sacks (29.5) and tackles-for-loss (70.5) and led the Pride to 18 wins in the last two seasons, its most over a two-year span since 2003-04. Academically, Giorgio has shined as well as a two-time CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District Team selection, and was one of four Gagliardi semifinalists to earn that academic distinction. Additionally, was a national semifinalist for the 2018 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy, an award that is focused on celebrating the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
Even more impressive has been Giorgio's commitment to making a difference in the surrounding community. He's been actively engaged in the program's involvement with Team IMPACT, specifically with 13-year old Luke Bradley and his battle with leukemia. Giorgio 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 and has spent time supporting and teaching local youth through football clinics.