UW-W’s Lewandowski Named a Semifinalist For Gagliardi Trophy

From wiacsports.com:

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn.University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Joey Stutzman and UW-Whitewater’s Evan Lewandowski have been named two of the 15 semifinalists for the 2022 Gagliardi Trophy, an accolade presented by Jostens, Inc. and the J-Club of Saint John’s University to the most outstanding football player in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III.

Thirteen seniors, one junior and one graduate student make up the semifinalists for the 2022 Gagliardi Trophy.

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. He passed away in October 2018 at the age of 91.

Additional semifinalists include: graduate student quarterback Will Bowers of Wheaton College (Ill.); running back Ethan Greenfield of North Central College (Ill.); senior quarterback Kyle King of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas); sophomore running back Jon Lewis of Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.); senior wide receiver Phil Lutz of Tufts University (Mass.); junior running back Jon Murray of Baldwin Wallace College (Ohio); senior defensive end Michael Nobile of Delaware Valley College (Pa.); senior wide receiver Nate Palmer of Utica College (N.Y.), senior quarterback Braxton Plunk of the University of Mount Union (Ohio); senior quarterback Jaran Roste of Bethel University (Minn.); senior offensive lineman Boomer Warren of Hardin-Simmons University (Texas); senior quarterback AJ Wingfield of Ithaca College (N.Y.); and senior defensive lineman Michael Wozniak of Saint John’s University (Minn.). 

Stutzman is the third player for UW-La Crosse in the last six years to be named a semifinalist for the Gagliardi Trophy, joining wide receivers Nick Holcomb (2017) and Cole Spieker (2019). Running back John Janke (1993), quarterback Craig Kusick (1995) and wide receivers Scott Burnoski (2004) and Holcomb (2017) have been named finalists for the award. 

Named the 2022 WIAC Kwik Trip Offensive Player of the Year, Stutzman helped UW-La Crosse to a share of the WIAC title this season – the 34th in program archives. The Eagles also earned a spot in the NCAA Division III playoffs. He led the team in rushing attempts (236) and yards (1,189), while finishing second in rushing touchdowns (5) to earn All-WIAC First Team accolades. Starting all 11 games in 2022, Stutzman averaged 5.0 yards per attempt and 108.1 yards per game. He led the WIAC in rushing attempts and yards. Stutzman also had 18 catches for 212 yards and one touchdown this season.  

Stutzman had 24 carries for a career-high 180 yards (7.5 average) with one touchdown in UW-La Crosse’s 30-3 win at the University of Dubuque (Iowa) on Sept. 10. He was named the WIAC Kwik Trip Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 108 yards on 21 carries and catching three passes for 67 yards and a touchdown in UW-La Crosse’s 38-35 win at No. 24-ranked UW-Oshkosh on Oct. 29. 

Stutzman finished his career second in school history in career rushing yards with 3,277. He recorded at least 100-yards rushing in six games this season to give him 16 in his career, second-most in school history.

Stutzman is majoring in physical education and maintains a 3.17 grade point average.

Lewandowski joins a list of former Warhawks that have been semifinalists for the Gagliardi Trophy including: Derrick LeVake (1997); Justin Beaver (2005 and 2007); Ryan Kleppe (2006); Jeff Schebler (2009); Aaron Rusch (2010); Matt Blanchard (2011); Cole Klotz (2013); Brady Grayvold (2014); John Flood (2016); and Harry Henschler (2018). Beaver won the award in 2007.

A senior transfer, Lewandowski wrapped up his second year as a Warhawk this season. He secured All-WIAC honorable mention recognition after helping UW-Whitewater to its 39th conference title and a spot in the NCAA Division III playoffs.

In 2022, Lewandowski completed 200 of his 318 pass attempts (63.0 percent) and threw for 2,356 yards with 18 touchdowns in 11 games. He added a pair of rushing touchdowns.

His four passing touchdowns in UW-Whitewater’s win at UW-La Crosse on Oct. 1 tied the program’s single-game record. He also helped the Warhawks break the record for points in a game (79), rushing touchdowns in a game (10) and touchdowns in a game (11) in the team’s victory over UW-Stevens Point on Nov. 12.  

Lewandowski, a team captain for the 2022 campaign, is a human performance major with a minor in sport management and carries a grade point average of 3.725.

The 40-member Gagliardi Trophy national selection committee reviews the credentials, ranks the candidates 1-15 and casts their votes. Fan balloting, which is available on D3football.com, accounts for the 41st ballot, and is being conducted on D3football.com for the 12th consecutive season. Fans will be permitted to cast one ballot per device, through 12 p.m. Central on Dec. 3.

The Gagliardi Trophy finalists will be announced during a live show on Dec. 7, on D3football.com. Hosts Pat Coleman and Frank Rossi will profile the finalists during the program. The 2022 Gagliardi Trophy winner will be revealed on D3football.com during the week of the NCAA Division III football national championship on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. CT.  In the lead up to the announcement of the 2022 Gagliardi Trophy winner, D3football.com and the J-Club Twitter account (@JClubSJU) will provide updates on specific dates and times of the announcement.

Nominations were submitted by colleges across the country, and the semifinalists were selected by the J-Club Board of Directors. The Gagliardi Trophy national selection committee is comprised of 18 Division III coaches (three from each NCAA Region), six Division III administrators (one from each region), 12 regional notable voters (two from each region), and eight national voters with Division III backgrounds.

No J-Club members vote as part of the national selection committee.

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