IRVING, Texas (Jan. 13, 2020) – In front of more than 1,500 coaches at the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, National Football Foundation (NFF) Director of Membership Ron Dilatush today presented the National Football Foundation’s divisional national championship trophies to the coaches of the 2019 winning teams.
“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 NFF President & CEO Steve 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. We are extremely proud to join with AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry to continue this tradition of honoring the nation’s most successful coaches each year at the convention.”
NCAA Football Championship Subdivision – John F. Kennedy Trophy
North Dakota State University – Coach Matt Entz
Coach Matt Entz led No. 1 North Dakota State (15-0) to its eighth FCS national championship in nine years with a 28-20 victory over No. 2 James Madison (14-2) on Jan. 11 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The win marked Entz’s first as a head coach, following five seasons and four additional FCS national tiles as the defensive coordinate for the Bison. The title gave North Dakota State its 16th football national championship overall since 1965, including a record eight at the FCS level. The win also made NDSU the first team since Yale in 1894 to go 16-0 while also extending their record-winning streak of 37 games. Bison redshirt freshman quarterback Trey Lance only passed 10 times (completing six passes for 72 yards), but he led all rushers in the game with 166 yards, including a 44-yard run to start the fourth quarter. Lance finished the season without any interceptions and 28 touchdowns, becoming the first freshman to ever win the Walter Payton Award as the top FCS player in the nation. NDSU safety James Hendricks secured the win with an inception in the endzone on the final JMU drive with seven seconds left. Hendricks’ contributions also included eight tackles and a first-half touchdown run on a fake field goal.
NCAA Division II – Asa S. Bushnell Trophy
West Florida- Coach Pete Shinnick
Coach Pete Shinnick and West Florida (13-2) rewrote the history books with a 48-40 win over Minnesota State (14-1) for the NCAA Division II National Championship Dec. 21 in McKinney, Texas as the first team to ever win four road games en route to the title. Shinnick, who launched the UWF program in 2016 and took the Argonauts to the playoffs in 2017 as the fastest program to ever do so (just two years), is now 35-17 in his four seasons in Pensacola. The Argonauts set offensive championship marks in the title game, passing for a championship-game record 523 passing yards and six touchdowns behind the arm of redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Reed. The Argos broke the former passing record of 361 yards before halftime. The win gave the Argos their fourth consecutive win against previously unbeaten teams and an astounding all-time 9-1 all-time record in playoff games since the program’s first season in 2016.
NCAA Division III – Amos Alonzo Stagg Trophy
North Central College (Ill.) – Coach Jeff Thorne
Coach Jeff Thorne and the 14-1 North Central (Ill.) Cardinals notched a 41-14 victory over the Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks (13-2) at the Stagg Bowl in Shenandoah, Texas, Dec. 20 to win the 2019 Division III football national championship for their first title in program history. North Central Quarterback Broc Rutter passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns. North Central Tailback Ethan Greenfield ran for three-touchdowns and 138 yards. Cardinal Defensive Back Julian Bell had two interceptions. Rutter’s performance gave him 14,265 career-passing yards for the Division III record. North Central’s path to the title included a 59-52 road-victory over No. 2 ranked and perennial powerhouse Mouth Union (Ohio) in the second round of the playoffs.
NAIA – Dwight D. Eisenhower Trophy
Morningside College (Iowa) – Coach Steve Ryan
Coach Steve Ryan and Morningside College (14-0) claimed the Mustangs’ second consecutive NAIA national championship with a 40-38 win over the 12-1 Marian University (Ind.) Knights Dec. 21 at Eddie G. Robinson Stadium in Grambling, Louisiana. Morningside Quarterback Joe Dolincheck completed 30 of 44 passes for 304 yards and six touchdowns. Reid Jurgensmeier caught seven passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns, and Arnijae Ponder rushed for 130 yards on 30 carries in the winning effort. Morningside remained undefeated for the second season in a row, and Coach Ryan now boasts an all-time record of 140-19 at Morningside.