Feature News

Ethan Greenfield Honored with 29th Gagliardi Trophy

Nicholas Osterloo

Dec 16, 2022

Earning the nation's highest honor for an NCAA Division III football student-athlete, North Central College running back Ethan Greenfield ’23 has been named the recipient of the 2022 Gagliardi Trophy. The annual award, presented by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University (Minnesota), was announced Friday prior to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl by D3football.com.

The Gagliardi Trophy was first presented in 1993. Since that time, the award has become one of the leading collegiate football awards and is widely recognized as the premier individual award in Division III football, honoring excellence in athletics, academics and community service.

Greenfield sits atop the Cardinal career record books in rushing attempts (894), yards (6,550), touchdowns (86), yards per game (128.6), total points scored (558), total touchdowns (93), all-purpose yards (7,528), and all-purpose yards per game (142.3). He has also taken over the single-season record books with the most rushing yards, touchdowns and carries as he holds the top three records in each category.

Adding to his accolades, Greenfield is a three-time first team AP All-American selection, an AFCA All-American, and a three-time D3football.com All-American. In both 2019 and 2021, he led the nation in rushing yards while currently leading the country in rushing yards for the 2022 season with 1,910 yards prior to the Stagg Bowl.

This season, Greenfield has rushed for 25 touchdowns, the most in DIII and fourth most across all divisions. He averages 134.14 yards per game over 247 carries. Greenfield has paced the Cardinals to lead Division III in total rushing yards with 364.1 yards per game this season, up 70 yards per game from a year ago. 

Playing in his third straight Stagg Bowl, Greenfield rushed for 138 yards and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 national championship before tallying 124 yards against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2021's national title game.

The award honors not only excellence in athletics, but also academics and community service as Greenfield, a sport management major, is pursuing his master's degree in sports leadership. He had volunteered with Feed My Starving Children in Aurora, with Special Olympics, and as a Vacation Bible School camp counselor. During the spring of 2022, Greenfield completed an internship with the North Central Sports Information Department as the lead statistician for the Cardinals' women's lacrosse team.

Greenfield becomes the second North Central football player to earn the Gagliardi Trophy, joining Broc Rutter in 2019. He is the fifth running back to earn the award and first since 2012.

The Cardinals look to claim their second national championship this evening as they take on the University of Mount Union Purple Raiders. The game will be played at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. The 49th Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl will be broadcast on ESPNU. Additional links to live coverage are available on the North Central Cardinals website.