MINNEAPOLIS, MN - February 22, 2018 - The 1976 Saint John’s University football team won head coach John Gagliardi’s third national championship, and now will become the third Johnnies team to receive the Murray Warmath Legendary Team Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation. The 1976 team will be recognized at the 11th Annual Minnesota Football Honors on April 29 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Before going on to the national title, the Johnnies won their third consecutive MIAC championship. SJU opened its season with a tie and then won seven straight games for an undefeated conference title. The team had eight All-MIAC selections.
The Johnnies went on to the NCAA playoffs, where they earned commanding victories in the first two rounds to advance to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl. SJU built a 28-0 lead against Towson State in the championship game, but the Tigers tied the game at 28 in the fourth quarter. The Johnnies advanced down the field in the final minute. Quarterback and kicker Jeff Norman, an All-MIAC player, made a 19-yard field goal as time expired for the 31-28 win.
Gagliardi’s squad put up impressive numbers on the way to the title. SJU averaged 361.2 rushing yards per game as part of its average of 461.7 total yards per game. All-conference running backs Tim Schmitz and Jim Roeder led the ground game. The Johnnies scored 43.5 points per contest while the defense limited opponents to 12.8 points and 253.6 yards per game.
The Murray Warmath Legendary Team Award is named for the coach who led the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers to the 1960 national championship and two Big Ten titles. He coached the Gophers from 1954-71.
The Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation will host the 11th Annual Minnesota Football Honors on Sunday, April 29, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium. The event is presented by the Minnesota Vikings and is the largest football awards event in Minnesota. Doors open at 2 p.m. for the 4 p.m. event. The event is open to the public. Tickets will go on sale soon. For additional information about this year’s Minnesota Football Honors, please visit www.minnesotafootballhonors.com. For sponsorship information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation:
The Minnesota Chapter of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and develop the power of amateur football in developing the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive spirit and academic excellence in Minnesota’s young people. The MN Chapter recognizes legendary football icons, college football Hall of Famers and Minnesota’s top high school and college football scholar athletes. For more information, visit www.nffmn.org, Facebook or Twitter.
Lindsay Lommel, Event Manager
MN Chapter of The National Football Foundation
Tag(s): Upcoming Event