NASHVILLE - In front of more than 1,500 coaches at the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Annual Convention, NFF Director of Membership Ron Dilatush, today presented the National Football Foundation's divisional national championship trophies to the coaches of the 2012 winning teams at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.
"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 and CEO Steven J. 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 -North Dakota State University - Craig Bohl
North Dakota State (14-1) and Coach Craig Bohl landed their second consecutive FCS national championship in a rematch of last year's title game against Sam Houston State (11-4) January 5 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The 39-13 win in this year's game marks the second FCS championship in school history, giving the Bison, who joined the FCS in 2004, their tenth national championship across all divisions. Quarterback Brock Jensen rushed for three touchdowns, gaining 44 yards on the ground and passing for another 115. Running back Sam Ojuri rushed for 92 yards on the day, including two touchdowns, and running back John Crockett added another 80 yards on the ground as the Bison amassed 300 rushing yards in the victory. The Bison now boast eight consecutive postseason victories.
NCAA Division II - Asa S. Bushnell Trophy – Valdosta State (GA) University - Coach David Dean
Coach David Dean and Valdosta State (GA) claimed the school's third Division II title December 15 with a decisive 35-7 victory against previously unbeaten Winston-Salem State (NC) in Florence, Alabama. After a slow start to the season at 2-2, the Blazers (12-2) ran the table, becoming the lowest ranked team at No. 17 to ever win the national title. Valdosta State QB Cayden Cochran completed 18-of-26 passes while throwing for a touchdown and rushing for two more in the victory against Winston-Salem State (14-1). The Blazers have appeared in the national title game four times since 2002, and the 2012 title marks their first crown since 2007 and second for Coach Dean.
NCAA Division III - Amos Alonzo Stagg Trophy - University of Mount Union (OH) - Coach Larry Kehres
After three straight losses in the championship game, Coach Larry Kehres and Mount Union (OH) returned to the Division III mountain top in 2012, notching a 28-10 win against St. Thomas (MN) December 14 in Salem, Va., to claim the national title. The Purple Raiders (15-0) now have a record 11 national titles in 16 appearances, including eight straight, in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, all under Coach Kehres, who now boasts an astounding 332-24-3 record or a 93 percent win rate during his 27 seasons at the school. Mount Union sophomore QB Kevin Burke completed 21-of-28 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown in the win. NFF National Scholar-Athlete Nick Driskill had 11 tackles for the Purple Raiders in the victory against the Tommies (14-1).
NAIA - Dwight D. Eisenhower Trophy – Marian (IN) University - Coach Ted Karras, Jr.
In only its sixth season fielding a football team, Marian (IN) and Coach Ted Karras claimed the national title with a thrilling 30-27 overtime victory against Morningside (IA) December 13 in Rome, Ga. The Knights (12-1) leaned on the kicking of Micahel Josifovski who hit a 35-yard field goal on the final play of regulation and another for 26 yards in the overtime to seal the victory against Morningside (13-1). Marian QB Adam Wiese completed 25-of-39 attempts for 233 yards and a touchdown, and Tevin Lake rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.