BELTON-For the second straight season, and the first time in program history, UMHB football has back-to-back Gagliardi Trophy finalists.
On Wednesday afternoon, in a much-anticipated announcement that followed two weeks of voting after the 15 semifinalists were released, UMHB quarterback Kyle King was selected as one of the four finalists for the 2022 award.
King is the second finalist for the award since it moved to a two-tier system. He was the sixth semifinalist in the program’s 25-year history.
It is a tremendous honor, considering it is regarded as D-III football’s version of the “Heisman Trophy”, recognizing excellence on the field, in the classroom, and in the community, awarded annually by the J-Club at Saint John’s (MN) University. The award is named for John Gagliardi, the former SJU head coach, who ranks No. 1 amongst college head coaches in career wins, with 489.
The announcement for King comes just hours after he was selected as the D3football.com Region 3 Offensive Player of the Year, another major accomplishment in what has been one of the most decorated careers for a UMHB quarterback. As a senior in his third season with the varsity program (he was a member of the JV roster in 2019), King has won a national championship, set program records for completions in a game, completions in a season, passing yards in a game, passing yards in a season, passing touchdowns in a game and in a season, in addition to being the 2021 D-III leader in passing efficiency.
He is joined as a finalist by Bethel QB Jaran Roste, Mount Union QB Braxton Plunk, and North Central RB Ethan Greenfield.
King was No. 1 in the fan vote, with 19.3%, which was 2,602 votes.
The recipient of the 2022 Gagliardi Trophy will be announced on Dec. 16 prior to the Stagg Bowl.
This article will be updated.