Monmouth’s AJ Farris and Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Mike Olsen Repeat as Rimington Award Winners.
New York, NY – AJ Farris of Monmouth University (N.J.) and Mike Olsen of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh has been named repeat winners of the Rimington Award for 2021. The Rimington award has been given each of the last 19 years to the top centers in the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA divisions. This year marks the first time there have been repeat winners in multiple divisions and only the fourth and fifth repeat winners in the history of the award.
Farris of Monmouth University (N.J.) is a repeat winner for the FCS Division Rimington Award. Farris, a senior from Newark, Del. was twice named to the Stats Perform FCS All-America Team and was also named to the HERO Sports All-American team. He earned First Team All-Big South honors last spring and this fall after leading the Hawks offensive line since 2019. Farris was a third team All-American by two separate media outlets after the 2019 season and was a first team preseason All-American for 2020. Monmouth averaged 391.9 yards of total offense per game last season.
Kalen DeBoer is the new head coach of the University of Washington football team. Yes, PAC-12 member Washington has a new head coach that used to coach in the Great Plains Athletic Conference and I think it’s awesome. If you only follow DI FBS football, you are likely one of the folks commenting on the meteoric rise of Deboer as he packs up to become the new head coach of the University of Washington. Most people see his DI career arc only. It looks like this: 2014 Offensive Coordinator at Eastern Michigan to 2017 Offensive Coordinator at Fresno State to 2019 Offensive Coordinator at Indiana to 2020 Head Coach at Fresno State to today. . .head coach of the University of Washington Huskies.
But I’m one of those people who still can’t get past what Kalen did at the University of Sioux Falls. He hasn’t coached in the NAIA in over 10 years and his 67-3 record is still something that’s absolutely remarkable. I can literally tell you the three losses with no research: Carroll College in a title game, Carroll College in a semifinal game on the road, and Morningside College on the road. He never lost a game in Sioux Falls as a head coach. . .that’s insane.
For anyone who was around Kalen in his early days as a coordinator at USF under Bob Young this news is not surprising. His career was going to be one of two paths: a 30 year career at USF or leave and continue to be a great college football coach. But the one thing I can attest to is how good of a person Kalen is and how well he treated me in all of the years of covering him. He never dodged a question or avoided answering my call. He was just a pleasure to cover.
Last summer on July 2nd the world, the NAIA, college athletics, and most importantly the Parker family, lost a great man. His name was Bruce Parker and he was my friend. At the time when he passed away, I stated on social media that I would give Bruce his due down the road. I’ve always been a bit miffed on how we honor someone when they pass away and then we hear nary a word about them until some posthumous award is given to them or a building is named in their honor.
So many people knew, loved, and respected Bruce. If I would’ve written about him last summer my experiences would’ve been lost in the outpouring of love and grief displayed for Bruce. So I am being a bit selfish writing this down the road and wanting people to pay attention to what I have to say. There are a ton of stories I would like to share about Bruce, but for now I want to focus on a few things that made him special and how he helped me personally.
Bruce understood what I was trying to do when I owned the Victory Sports Network and he saw what it meant to schools, athletes and alumni. He was a trusted advisor to my business and did everything he could to help me grow it into the national media for NAIA athletics. He also understood the struggles that I had with NAIA national office early in my career. I was the young kid poking them in the side all the time. I’d ask them questions they didn’t want to answer and often times did not following their protocols. They didn’t hate me but they didn’t exactly like me. The NAIA tolerated me. Then a moment in November of 2007 changed it all.
This was a particulary good “Morning Brew” email I received today. So I thought I’d save the information in a place where all can see.
“Considering that we just finished the final weekend of the summer, take 30 seconds to revisit the past three months. What were the highlights? Who were the people you met? What are the experiences you hope to build upon?”
Here are 40 Concepts to Understand from @G_S_Bhogal‘s MEGATHREAD on 9/17/21. This list start with ideas like “Abstraction” and “Scope Neglect”. It’s a great read to remind you why people might think so differently than you.
The Rimington Award honors the top center in FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA levels not just for the contributions on the field but off the field as well. This year’s selection process veered out of our normal evaluation techniques due to the lack of games played in all divisions. This year’s selection relied heavily on each center’s career prior to the 2020 shortened season.
New York, NY – Zach Larsen of Southern Utah headlines the 2019 Rimington Award winners for the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA divisions. This year’s selections mark the 17th time the top center of each respective level has received the award.
Larsen, a senior from Draper, Utah, has been one of the more decorated centers in recent FCS history. He is a three-time All-Big Sky Conference honoree, earning unanimous first team honors this season. In 2018 he was named an All-American by Phil Steele as well as by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. In 2017 he received All-American honors from STATS, Hero Sports and Phil Steele. Additionally, Larsen has been a fulltime starter at center for the Thunderbirds since his freshman year. Zach is the first Thunderbird to ever receive the Rimington Award and the fourth winner from the Big Sky Conference.
Jake Lacina of Augustana University (S.D.) is the DII division winner of the Rimington Award. Lacina, a senior from Saint Paul, Minn., was named first team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and first team All-Conference by the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). In his career, Lacina started all 45 games in his career with the Vikings while being elected a team captain this season. He was also a D2football.com preseason All-American before the start of the 2019 season. He is the first center from Augustana and the NSIC to ever receive the Rimington Award.
While I can appreciate the “Big J” journalists doing their best to understand small college football, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out they are doing a terrible job.
Recently ESPN published their attempt at “The 50 best college football programs over the last 150 years.” They characterized the list as being put together as “college football’s greatest programs across all divisions” while in the same breath leaving out the NAIA. Ahh, the “Big J” journalists doing their finest work.
I’m sure they will make the argument, “Well we counted the NAIA championships for teams in DII and DIII.” But nevertheless, there isn’t one current NAIA program on the list.
It’s been nearly 10 years since Dana College fielded a football team. That means two things have happened:
You’ve ruined, stained or lost your old Dana Football standard issue “practice” t-shirt.
You’ve gotten much “larger” and the shirt no longer fits.
Never fear, you can now buy a new shirt! The inspiration for the design comes from the 1996-2003 t-shirt, mostly because that’s the one I had and the one that I could find on Kevin Stull’s Facebook page.
The shirt color will be gray. I’m charging $17 per shirt. Here’s why: The shirt will cost $6-8 depending on total quantity ordered. I will mail them to you in a USPS flat rate envelope for $7.35. Wix/Paypal/Square all charge a small fee per transaction so I’m adding a $1 or so to that.
The shirts will be printing in mid-April and will ship late April/early May. You have until April 10th to get your order placed.
Any money leftover I will donate to the Dana College Homecoming.
It’s been a couple of weeks since we last talked but I’m glad you called when you did. It was great catching up with you and talking about the old times. Like you, I miss them. I miss the times we all used to have, I missed playing ball together but most of all I miss being around you and all of the guys. You were right, we didn’t realize how great things were when we had it. Shit was pretty easy back then when the toughest thing was not being too hungover to get a grade in LARP.
Good ol’ Johnny Knuckleskins. Goddamn man, that name still makes me laugh. That guy could grill a steak too.
We’re lucky we didn’t get tetanus that summer we all stayed in Blair and worked out together grilling with that old ass grill I had and rusty ass cooking sheets. I still remember when I handed it to you and you deadpanned “Hey Chipper, you got any with less rust? These are pretty good steaks.” Continue reading →