Rimington Award Winners for the Nation’s Top Center for FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA Announced.
Illinois State’s Mark Spelman Adds to an Already Impressive College Career
December 10, 2016 – Mark Spelman of Illinois State University headlines the 2016 Rimington Award winners for the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA divisions. This year’s selections mark the 14th time the top center of each respective level has received the award.
Spelman, a senior from Brookfield, Wis., is a three-time All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honoree, earning first team honors in both his junior and senior seasons. Additionally, Spelman excelled in the classroom being named to the MVFC All Academic Team.
Spelman was also a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Award, an award recognizing the top academic students in the nation. This season Spelman was part of an offense that averaged 385.4 total yards per game and as a junior his squad averaged 425.6 total yards per game. Spelman is the first Redbird to ever receive the Rimington Award.
Akoakoa Kennedy, a senior from Hilo, Hawaii, is the DII division winner of the Rimington Award. Kennedy was named second team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
Kennedy was also a second-team D2SIDA/D2CCA All-Super Region Four AFCA pick and earned first-team All-Lone Star Conference accolades. This is the second year Kennedy earned LSC recognition after being named honorable mention his junior year. This season Midwestern State averaged 426.1 total yards per game. He is the first Mustang ever to receive the Rimington Award.
Brian Gegner of the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) is the recipient of the Rimington Trophy for the NAIA Division. Gegner, a senior from Indianapolis, Ind., was a two-time all-conference selection in the Mid-States Football Association including first team honors this season. Gegner, who started every game at center his junior and senior seasons, was also a key contributor to the Cougars success on the offensive line helping to lead his squad to the NAIA National Championship game.
This year the Cougars have averaged 468.4 total yards per game. The Rimington Award for Gegner is the second time a Saint Francis center has won the award.
Mitch Doraty of the University of Mount Union becomes the first back-to-back winner of the NCAA DIII Rimington Award. Doraty, a senior from Medina, Ohio, has been a three-year starter at center for the Purple Raiders.
Doraty was an All-Region selection from D3football.com as well as a two-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference selection. This season the Purple Raiders offense has averaged 488.7 total yards per game. The Rimington Award for Doraty marks the third time a center from Mount Union has won the award.
The award winners are selected by Jason Dannelly, coordinator of the Rimington Award and longtime writer of football in non-FBS divisions as part of the continued tradition of one of College Football’s most prestigious awards. Dannelly was the founder of the Victory Sports Network and is a member of the Football Writers Association.
The 2016 Rimington Trophy presentation banquet will be held January 14, 2016, at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Neb. The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in all divisions of College Football. Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over 3 million dollars. The sixteen-year old award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised over $100 million for CF Research.
Dave Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy’s only double winner as the nation’s finest college interior lineman. For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients, visit http://www.rimingtontrophy.com