Being named the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III would be a terrific way for Matt Sacia to end his record-setting career at Wartburg.

The Knights' senior quarterback is among four finalists being considered for the prestigious Gagliardi Trophy. The winner will be announced by D3football.com on Friday (Dec. 14, 2018).

Sacia just completed his senior season at Wartburg, where he helped the Knights repeat as conference champions and was named most valuable player in the league for the second-straight year. The Eldridge native ended his career as the program's leader in pass completions (688), touchdown passes (93), pass completion percentage (66.2), pass efficiency (164.8), and passing yards per game (245.1). Sacia finished second in school history in passing yards (9,069) and pass attempts (1,039).

Sacia also set three single-season school records this year: pass completion percentage (70.0), passing yards per game (279.2) and pass efficiency (176.9).

Matt Sacia / Photo By: Elwin Huffman - Townsquare Media

This is the second-straight year that Sacia has been up for the Gagliardi Trophy. As a junior, he was the first player from Wartburg to be named a finalist in 2017.

Sacia is the only repeat finalist this year. He was announced as a finalist on Dec. 6, along with Shenandoah (Va.) senior quarterback Hayden Bauserman, Trine (Ind.) senior running back Lamar Carswell, and Saint John's (Minn.) junior quarterback Jackson Erdmann.

The winner of the 26th Gagliardi Trophy will be announced prior to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, the Division III national championship game. Mount Union (Ohio) plays Mary-Hardin-Baylor (Texas) for the title in Shenandoah, Texas, a suburb of Houston.

Given annually since 1993, the Gagliardi Trophy recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and community service. The award is presented each year by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University of Minnesota. The trophy is named after legendary St. John’s Hall of Fame Head Coach John Gagliardi, who retired in 2012 with the most career victories (489) in college football history. Gagliardi died in October at age 91.


Courtesy: Wartburg Knights via YouTube