Courtesy of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame
ORLANDO, Fla. - In front of over 1,500 coaches at the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Annual Convention, Steven J. Hatchell, president & CEO of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF), today presented the NFF divisional national championship trophies to the coaches of the 2009 winning teams at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Florida.
"Each year at the AFCA convention, the NFF presents the championship trophies to the coaches who have taken their teams to the pinnacle of success," said Hatchell. "It is fitting that we present the trophies in front of their peers, the very people who know the commitment, dedication, and effort that goes into winning a national championship."
NCAA Football Championship Subdivision - John F. Kennedy Trophy - Villanova University - Coach Andy Talley
With 25 years under his belt as the Villanova head coach, Andy Talley led the Wildcats to the school's first NCAA football title with a hard-fought 23-21 victory over Montana Dec. 18 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Matt Szczur ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns and had another 68 yards receiving, leading Villanova (14-1) to the win against the No. 1 seeded and previously unbeaten Grizzlies, who were making a record 17th consecutive appearance in the playoffs.
NCAA Division II - Asa S. Bushnell Trophy - Northwest Missouri State University - Coach Mel Tjeerdsma
Coach Mel Tjeerdsma and the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats (14-1) held on for a 30-23 victory in the Division II championship against the Grand Valley State (Mich.) Lakers (13-2) Dec. 12 in Florence, Ala. The game marked a record fifth consecutive appearance in the Division II title game by a team with the previous four attempts ending in losses for the Bearcats. The 2009 championship becomes the school's third national title and their first since their back-to-back crowns in 1998 and 1999. LaRon Council rushed for 172 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns for the Bearcats.
NCAA Div. III - Amos Alonzo Stagg Trophy - University of Wisconsin-Whitewater - Coach Lance Leipold
In a battle of unbeatens, Coach Lance Leipold and the Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks (15-0) toppled the defending national champion Mount Union (Ohio) Purple Raiders (14-1) with a 38-28 victory to claim the NCAA Division III crown Dec. 19 in Salem, Va.. In what has become one of the great rivalries in NCAA sports, the game marked the fifth consecutive year that the two teams have competed in the championship game, a record for all sports for successive title games between two schools. Levell Coppage rushed 22 times for 111 yards, claiming the Stagg Bowl's Most Outstanding Player honors and leading the Warhawks to their second national championship with the previous title coming against the Purple Raiders in 2007.
NAIA - Dwight D. Eisenhower Trophy - University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) - Coach Kalen DeBoer
Coach Kalen DeBoer and the Sioux Falls Cougars (15- 0) notched a 25-22 victory against the Lindenwood University (Mo.) Lions (13-1) to win the NAIA National Championship on Dec. 19 in Rome, Ga. The victory marks the Cougars' second straight national championship and third in four years with DeBoer as the head coach. DeBoer, who had never been a head coach before taking the top job at his alma mater for the 2005 season, is an amazing 67-3 in his five years at the helm. In addition to the three crowns earned during DeBoer's watch, the Cougars claimed 1996 NAIA championship title.
On Jan. 8, the NFF presented the MacArthur Trophy, the NFF's NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision championship trophy, to Coach Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide for their 37-212 victory over the Texas Longhorns in the Citi BCS National Championship, which was played Jan. 7 in Pasadena, Calif. All the accomplishments of the championship teams will be highlighted during the coming year as part of the National Champions' Exhibit at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.