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Thursday, February 2, 2023

North Central Cardinals claim first National Championship in football


North Central College defeated the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater by a final score of 41-14 in the 47th annual Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl on Friday night at Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah, Texas.

The victory marks the College’s first-ever NCAA Division III football national title. Just prior to the game, the Cardinals’ senior quarterback Broc Rutter was named the Gagliardi Trophy winner as the top player in NCAA Division III college football. Rutter is North Central’s first-ever Gagliardi winner and this marks only the eighth time that a school has won the national championship and had the Gagliardi winner in the same season.

The Cardinals’ run to their first Stagg Bowl appearance and title was an epic one. A mid-season loss to conference rival Wheaton College put them at risk of missing out on the playoffs altogether. However, after receiving an at-large playoff bid, the Cardinals stormed through a post-season lineup that included Wabash College, top-ranked University of Mount Union, and three other opponents ranked among the nation’s top 10: No. 9 Delaware Valley University, No. 4 Muhlenberg College and No. 7 UW-Whitewater.

North Central’s football title marks the 40th overall team national title in school history.

Welcome the Cardinals back to Naperville!

The newly minted national champions will return home from Texas to Naperville between approximately 1:30 and 2:30PM on Sat., Dec. 21. All fans are welcome to greet the players and coaches outside of Merner Field House at Championship Plaza, located at 450 S. Brainard St. 

Congratulations North Central College in the heart of downtown Naperville!

North Central College head football coach Jeff Thorne received plenty of accolades upon return home.
Before Friday’s kickoff and championship victory, quarterback Broc Rutter was awarded the 2019 Gagliardi Trophy for most outstanding player in Division III college football. Back home again, Rutter credits his teammates for their part in the historic season for North Central College!


North Central College
North Central Collegehttp://www.northcentralcollege.edu
Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”—North Central College is just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop. With more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit northcentralcollege.edu to learn more.