BOSTON, Mass. — Gridiron Club of Greater Boston president Steve Grogan announced today that Boston College linebacker Mike McLaughlin (Woburn, MA) and Brown University wide receiver Buddy Farnham (Andover, MA) are recipients of the 71st annual George “Bulger” Lowe Award, “New England’s Heisman Trophy” and one of America’s oldest college football accolades.
The Bulger Lowe Award recognizes the New England’s best offensive and defensive players in the NCAA Bowl and Championship Divisions, formerly known as Divisions IA and IAA. McLaughlin and Farnham headed an all-star slate of players, coaches and officials that were honored by the club at its annual Bob Whelan College Football Awards Night on Thursday.
The 14th annual Joe Zabilski Award, which recognizes the top players in Divisions II and III, to running back Jim Bower (South Paris) of Maine Maritime Academy and defensive back Josh Mathieu (Fitchburg, MA) of Westfield State College.
Bower finished a distinguished career at Maine Maritime by helping the Mariners to a NEFC Bogan Division title, a conference championship, and the team's first ever trip to the NCAA tournament. Jim Bower was the nations leading rusher and he rushed for over 1,600 yards in 2009, including 22 touchdowns and 6 two-point conversions. Bower led the nation in rushing with 160.5 yards per game and ranked #2 in Division III in scoring with over 13 points per game. Bower was also awarded the Division II/III Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Gold Helmet Award, which goes to the top college football player in either division.
Bower was named the NEFC Bogan Division Offensive Player of the Year and was also selected to the 2009 All-New England Team. He was named an AP All-American, D3football.com All-American and an AFCA All-American. Maine Maritime is the only DIII school to have had three recipients of this prestigious award. Running Back Don Thibodeau won the award in 2005 and defensive end Cody Andrews won the award in 2008.
The club also announced that the winners of the 64th annual Nils V. “Swede” Nelson Award for exceptional achievement in sportsmanship, academics, and athletics, are linebacker Mark Herzlich (Wayne, PA) of Boston College in the Bowl/Championship divisions and defensive lineman Alex Rubino (Sparta, NJ) of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Division II/III.
The club’s New England head coaches of the year for 2009 are Sean McDonnell of New Hampshire in the Bowl/Championship Divisions and E.J. Mills of Amherst College in Divisions II/III.
The John Baronian Award for Lifetime Contribution to Football to Robert “Bo” Lyons, who coached Northeastern University football for nine years after a stellar career as a player and assistant coach under Joe Zabilski.
About the Gridiron Club, “Keepers of the Flame”: Founded in 1932, the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston promotes the game of football at all levels and nurtures the ideals of citizenship, sportsmanship, leadership, and athletic and academic achievement. Through its annual dinners and golf tournament, the club carries on its tradition of honoring exemplary players, coaches and officials at all levels of the sport, and supporting worthy charitable causes, especially those that assist children.
The Gridiron Club is steward of some of the most storied awards in American sport. The George H. “Bulger” Lowe Award, established in 1939 and awarded to New England’s best college football player, is the country’s second oldest accolade of its kind after the Heisman Trophy. The Nils V. “Swede” Nelson Award, inaugurated by the club in 1946, recognizes college football players who also distinguish themselves in the classroom. In 1977, the club assumed stewardship of the Walter Brown Award, the nation’s oldest college hockey honor, which is given to the best American-born college player in New England.