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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Linfield Quarterback Named Recipient of 2005 Gagliardi Trophy as Outstanding NCAA Division III Football Player

December 14, 2005

For Release: Immediate

Contact: Tom Stock

Saint John’s University


COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. - Brett Elliott, senior quarterback at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., has been named recipient of the 13th annual Gagliardi Trophy, given annually to the outstanding football player in NCAA Division III. The award will be presented Thursday, Dec. 15, at a luncheon in Salem, Va., to kickoff Stagg Bowl festivities. The national championship game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 17, between Wis.-Whitewater and Mount Union, Ohio. The award, sponsored by Jostens, Inc., and administered by the Saint John's University J-Club in Collegeville, Minn., recognizes excellence in academics, athletics and community service.

Elliott is the sixth quarterback to win The Gagliardi Trophy and first since Chad Johnson from Pacific Lutheran won the award back in 2000.

Elliott, from Lake Oswego, Ore., completed 69.9 percent of his passes (277 of 396) for 4,019 yards and 49 touchdowns in 2005. He was intercepted just nine times in 11 games this season. Elliott is second in the nation in passing efficiency with a 191.5 rating and third in total offense at 371.6 yards per game. Linfield led NCAA Division III in scoring offense this season at 47.9 points per game. Elliott passed for more than 300 yards nine times this season, equaling an NCAA Division III record. He also set a new NCAA career standard for completion percentage at 68.1 percent. Elliott ended his Linfield career with 8,614 passing yards and 110 touchdowns. Elliott was named West Region Offensive Player of the Year by, led the Wildcats to a 10-1 record and their fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Division III West Region final.

Elliott, a consensus first-team All-American, threw for a NCAA all-divisions record 61 touchdowns in his first season as a starter at Linfield in 2004. He obliterated the Linfield single-season passing record by more than 1,500 yards, throwing for a Division III record 4,595 in 13 games. Most importantly, he led the Wildcats to an unbeaten record and the fourth national championship in program history. With Elliott at the controls, the Wildcats scored nearly a point a minute in 2004, averaging 50 points and 510 yards of offense.

The Gagliardi Trophy is named for John Gagliardi, legendary head coach at Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minn., where he became the winningest coach in college football history with 409 wins on Nov. 8, 2003. Gagliardi currently has 432 career victories in his 57 years of coaching, 53 years being at SJU.

In addition to his expertise and agility on the football field, Elliott, a communication major, was selected for his academic achievements and leadership on campus and in the neighboring communities. Elliott worked with the Linfield Review campus newspaper and campus radio station KSLC. He served a summer internship with KFXX radio in Portland, served as a speaker at freshman colloquium, volunteered as a weekly tutor and mentor to an at-risk fifth-grade student at Newby Elementary School for nine months and visited a cancer patient in a Portland hospital as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Elliott was nominated by Marvin Henberg, interim president of Linfield College, who wrote "Brett Elliott is a very special young man who wears his accomplishments lightly, sees football as only one part of his life, and reaches out to others in palpable ways."

Linfield head coach Jay Locey, in his letter of support for Elliott's nomination, wrote, "Few student-athletes today could match the wide-spread impact and accomplishments that Brett has achieved. Through it all, he has remained humble and genuine. He is indeed a rare person and truly a tremendous ambassador for Division III."

College presidents nominate their top student-athletes for the award. The J-Club Board of Directors narrows the field to 10 finalists and a national selection committee selects the winner. The trophy features a sculpture of SJU football coach John Gagliardi and a player in a classic one-on-one sideline consultation. The sculptures are hand cast in bronze and mounted on a polished wood base. Designed by Jostens, Inc., the trophy stands nearly two-feet tall and weighs 64 pounds.

For more information about the Gagliardi Trophy, please contact Tom Stock at 320-363-2629.

Michael Hemmesch

Director of Media Relations

College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University

Phone: (320) 363-2595


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