LANCASTER, PA - Franklin & Marshall College's Dan Eggertsson (Sr., Royal Palm, FL/Suncoast) has been named the 2004 Tom Gilburg Division III National Punter of the Year.
Presented to the top small college punter in the nation each year. the Gilburg Award is presented to the consensus All-America punter compiled from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), D3football.com, Associated Press "Little All-America" and Don Hansen's Football Gazette All-America teams each season.
A unanimous All-Centennial Conference first team selection at both place-kicker and punter, Eggertsson led the Centennial Conference and finished fifth in the nation in punting with a 40.7 yard average (63 punts for 2,567 yards).
An All-America punter as he was named to the 2004 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Coaches first team, D3football.com All-America second team, Associated Press Little All-America third team and Don Hansen's Football Gazette All-America third team, he became the first Franklin & Marshall player to earn recognition on all four All-America teams in one season.
Historically, his selection marked the 46th All-America honor bestowed upon Franklin & Marshall in football since S. Woodrow Sponaugle '37 earned the College's first All-America honor in 1936. In addition, he is just the second punter to earn All-America honors as Jon Bushey '97 was named to the Football Gazette All-America third (1995) and honorable mention (1996) teams.
His 2,567 yards during the season marked the second most yards ever punted for by a Franklin & Marshall player, while his average of 40.7 yards per punt establishes a new school season record erasing the previous mark of 39.9 set by Bushey (51 for 2,035 yards) in 1996. Further, this year's team averaged 40.8 yards per punt (64 for 2,614 yards) to eclipse the previous F&M season record of 39.01 held by the 1996 Diplomats.
A 2003 All-CC honorable mention selection at punter, Eggertsson punted 156 times for 5,989 yards in his intercollegiate career with 46 punts inside the 20-yard line, eight fair catches and eight touchbacks for a 38.39 career average to finish second in punting average behind Bushey (40.1) and fourth in total punts in program history.
At place-kicker, he connected on seven-of-12 field goals and 36-of-38 PATs to finish second on the team in scoring with 57 points to finish behind tailback Scott Stephen '05 (66). For his career, he has hit nine of 19 field goals and 71-of-83 PATs.
This season he garnered several honors including being named the October 4 Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette NCAA Division III Co-National Special Teams Player of the Week for punting 11 times for 471 yards (42.8) with a long of 62 yards and four punts inside the 20-yard line to aid in a 15-10 win at Muhlenberg on October 2. A member of the September 12, September 19 and October 4 D3football.com Team of the Week to become the first punter ever named to the weekly team three times in one season.
Overall, he led F&M to the Centennial Conference and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Southwest titles this year as the Diplomats finished with an 8-3 record, 4-2 in Centennial Conference play.
The titles capped a turnaround season for the Diplomats as F&M finished with eight wins in a season for the first time since 1996 (9-2), won their first Centennial Conference title since 1995 (7-3), advanced to the postseason for the first time since 1996 as F&M previously went 0-10 (2000), 1-9 (2001), 4-6 (2002) and 4-6 (2003) over the last four seasons.
He concluded his intercollegiate football career by kicking five times for an average of 39.6 yards per punt with one kick inside the 20-yard line to help Team USA to a 23-3 win over Team Mexico in the 34th Annual Aztec Bowl at Estadio Cancun 86 in Cancun on December 11.
A member of the only national football team fielded by the United States, Eggertsson was one of 42 NCAA Division III seniors from around the country who made up this year's team under former Central (Iowa) College Head Coach Ron Schipper.
A dual sport athlete at Franklin & Marshall College, Eggertsson plays golf in the spring and was a member of the 2003 Centennial Conference men's golf championship team at the College. This summer, he made history becoming the first Franklin & Marshall College player to compete in the Florida Amateur Golf Championship.
A Religious Studies major, he received the 2004 Rev. Arthur Barley Award, presented to outstanding religious studies student at Franklin & Marshall College.
For his academic and athletic success, he was named to the CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Region first team and Academic All-America College Division second team as his selection to the Academic All-America team marked the 35th time an F&M student-athlete has garnered national recognition.
The award is presented by the Franklin & Marshall Football Association in honor of retired Franklin & Marshall football coach and former NCAA Division I and NFL punter Tom Gilburg
The head football coach at Franklin & Marshall College from 1975-2002, Gilburg was a standout punter first at Syracuse University and later in the National Football League with the Baltimore Colts. A native of Chappaqua, New York, he compiled a 160-112-2 record in football over 28 seasons on the sidelines at F&M, the most wins by a coach in the program's history.
Born in Bronxville, New York, at an early age Gilburg moved to Chappaqua where he grew up attending Horace Greeley High School playing offensive and defensive end as well as punting.
Following high school, Gilburg continued his education at Syracuse University on scholarship.
Under head coach Ben Schwartzwalder, Gilburg quickly advanced through freshmen football to make the second team at punter and end as a sophomore. In the 1959 Cotton Bowl, Syracuse defeated Texas 23-14 and was named unanimous AP and UPI National Champions.
A three-year letterwinner with the Orangemen, he was a blocking tight end and linebacker his sophomore and junior seasons, then moved to tackle and nose guard as a senior. While at tackle, he blocked for All-America running back Ernie Davis.
Prior to his senior season in 1960 an operation on his knee added 20 pounds to his weight. As a result, he was switched to inside tackle on offense and middle guard on defense while continuing to serve as the team's punter. Following the season, he was honored with the Bill Horr Award winner as the team's MVP and was selected to compete in the All-America Bowl and East-West Shrine Game.
The 1961 Syracuse "Athlete of the Year" and a first team All-America selection as a senior, he played in the 1958 Orange Bowl (23-6 loss to Oklahoma) and was a standout lacrosse player for Syracuse during his four year collegiate career as he was selected for the 1961 North-South All-Star game.
Following Syracuse, he was selected in the second round of the 1961 National Football League Draft by the Baltimore Colts where he played five NFL seasons at offensive tackle and punter under coaches Weeb Eubank and Don Shula.
A highlight of Gilburg's professional career was playing in the 1964 NFL Championship game versus the Cleveland Browns.
Upon his retirement from the NFL, Gilburg turned down numerous job offers to become a coach.
From 1966-70 he served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach and assistant men's lacrosse coach at Hofstra. In 1971, he moved south to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where he served as men's lacrosse coach and linebackers' coach before being named as the 37th head football coach in F&M history.
Highlights of Gilburg's 28-years at the forefront of the F&M gridiron include five Centennial Conference Championships (1986, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1995), two Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships (1987 & 1989), eight first team All-America selections and 11 Conference Most Valuable Player honors.
Gilburg is the first former Syracuse Orangeman and the second Division III head football coach to have an award named after him following St. John University's John Gagliardi. On the Division III level, the award is just the second national award recognizing excellence on the gridiron as the Gagliardi Award is presented to the top football student-athlete.