By News-Register staff • 

Mac alum finalist for Gagliardi Trophy

Current Linfield quarterback and former McMinnville Grizzly Wyatt Smith has been a finalist for the 2019 Gagliardi Trophy, which honors the top player in the NCAA’s Division III.

Brett Elliott, the Wildcats’ co-offensive coordinator and 2005 Gagliardi Trophy winner, helped Smith accomplish a breakout season, earning the Northwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year for leading Linfield to an 8-2 record and the conference title.

Ranked among the best statistical passing leaders in D-III, the McMinnville native is second in the nation in passing yards per game (353.1) and fourth in completions per game (27.30). He powered an offensive unit that led the nation in passing offense (379.2) and was sixth in scoring offense (48.3).

Smith’s 43 passing touchdowns are sixth in the country and the third-highest total in one season by a Linfield quarterback, trailing only Elliott’s 2004 and 2005 seasons.

“Wyatt has worked extremely hard on his craft and it’s pretty cool to see it being recognized,” Elliott told . “He has a very talented right arm. Wyatt is the true definition of ‘student of the game.’”

Linfield head coach Joseph Smith, Wyatt’s father, reflected on his son’s incredible season.

“Wow, as a coach I could not be any prouder of Wyatt and the manner in which he has achieved success this year. As his father, his mother and I are very proud of the type of man he is becoming. To be among the five finalists is quite an honor. There are some amazing players in that group,” he said.

Smith remains an exemplary student-athlete. A finance major with a 3.64 GPA, Smith was selected to the Academic All-America Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

In service to his community, Wyatt volunteers weekly at Memorial Elementary, his former school, reading with students and working with children on projects.


Linfield Sports Information assisted with this story.


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