SALEM, Va. — Dubuque wide receiver Michael Zweifel was named the winner of the 2011 Gagliardi Trophy, awarded annually to the most outstanding player in Division III football. Zweifel, the 2011 Iowa Conference Offensive MVP and the only Division III NFF William V. Campbell Finalist (Academic Heisman), became the first Iowa Conference student-athlete to win the award (Coe’s Carey Bender won the Gagliardi Trophy in 1994 prior to joining the IIAC).
In 2011, Zweifel led the nation in receiving yards (1,915), receiving yards per game (174.09), receptions (140), receptions per game (12.73), and receiving touchdowns (25). He set a new Division III record with 140 catches this season, and is the all-time NCAA leader (all divisions) with 463 career receptions. He led the Spartans to a 9-2 record and their first conference championship in 31 years. He currently holds nine Dubuque records, four Iowa Conference records, three NCAA records, and one Wisconsin Conference record.
Zweifel’s play this season has earned him numerous awards including Iowa Conference Athlete of the Week (Week 9), Iowa Conference Football Offensive Player of the Week (Weeks 3 and 9), d3football.com Team of the Week (Weeks 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9), and Beyond Sports Network Performer of the Week (Weeks 4 and 6). He also headlined the 2011 AFCA DIII Coaches All-American Team, is a Beyond Sports Network All-American Finalist, and was named the D3football.com 2011 All-North Region Offensive Co-Player of the Year.
Zweifel, who maintains a 3.90 grade-point average with a major in Health, Wellness, and Recreation, has also been named the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year and is a finalist for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
“This award means as much to me as does to my teammates,” Zweifel said. “I have the best teammates in the world. My phone was vibrating in my pocket all night as many of them were all texting me and I can’t thank them enough for being part of team which had so much success this season. I’m just incredibly honored to be privileged with this award, there are so many good players in the country and some how to have me selected is incredible.”
The Gagliardi Trophy, presented annually since 1993, recognizes the student-athlete who excels in three areas: football, academics, and campus/community service. The award, presented by the Jostens Company and the J-Club of Saint John’s University (Minn.), is named after legendary Hall of Fame coach John Gagliardi of St. John’s.
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