Collegeville, Minn. - November 21, 2017 - Springfield College's Jordan Wilcox (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) was one of 10 student-athletes from across the nation to be named a semifinalist 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 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.
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, will be launched on D3football.com Nov. 21and run until Monday, Dec. 4.
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.
Of the 10 semifinalists, Wilcox is one of only two who were earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors this season and one of eight to have played in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. The Finance major currently owns a 3.56 GPA and was named the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Offensive Athlete of the Year following five games with at least three touchdowns, and four performances with at least 200 rushing yards. While leading Springfield back to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2006 and just its third undefeated regular season in program history, Wilcox ranks in the top five nationally in a number of categories, including rushing yards (1,786), yards per game (162.4), yards per rush (7.83), and total touchdowns (23).
His impact is even greater off the field however, 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.