Jan. 9, 2006
Providence, RI - The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston has announced that Brown football coach Phil Estes (East Greenwich, RI) has been named the New England Coach of the Year, and Bears' senior running back Nick Hartigan (Fairfax Station, VA) has been selected the winner of the Swede Nelson Award for academic, athletic and community achievement. The awards will be presented at the Gridiron Club's Annual Dinner on Thursday, January 12, 2006 at the Burlington (Mass.) Marriott Hotel.
A finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award as the nation's top coach, Estes led the Bears to their first-ever outright Ivy League Championship in 2005. Estes' team posted a 9-1 overall record, including a 6-1 Ivy League mark, winning its last eight games. Brown also earned its highest national ranking ever, being ranked 15th in the final Sports Network poll.
Overall, 15 Brown players earned All-Ivy honors as the Bears led the Ivy League and ranked 10th nationally in scoring offense with 36.8 points per game, and led the league in kickoff returns 921.9 yards per return), total offense (409.20 yards per game), punt returns (13.5 yards per return), turnover margin, kickoff coverage, and sacks against (5), which ranked second in the nation.
Since the Ivy League was formed in 1956, only two Brown teams have won nine or more games, both teams coached by Estes, in 2005 (9-1) and 1999 (9-1). Prior to Ivy League play, Brown teams won nine or more games just once before, in 1894 (10-5).
A native of Laconia, New Hampshire, Estes earned 50 wins (51) faster than any coach in Brown history, taking 78 games to get to the half-century mark. It took coach John Anderson 79 games to reach 50 victories from 1973 through 1982. Edward North Robinson coached 84 games for the Bears before reaching 50 wins from 1898-01 and 1904-1907.
The Swede Nelson Award is the oldest award presented by the Gridiron Club, presented annually since 1946 for outstanding achievement in academics, athletics, sportsmanship and citizenship.
Hartigan, who will play in the January 21, 2006 East-West Shrine Game, is the second player in Ivy League Football history to be honored as a First Team All-American and First Team Academic All-American. He was honored by the NCAA on January 7, 2006 as a winner of the prestigious NCAA Top VIII Award at the NCAA Honors Dinner. The unanimous choice for the Asa S. Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Player of the Year, Hartigan was a six-time Ivy League Player of the Week and holder of three career Ivy League scoring records including new marks for career rushing touchdowns (52), career points (324), and career touchdowns (54). He also established new league records for Ivy career rushing touchdowns (35), Ivy career points (222), Ivy career touchdowns (37) and Ivy season touchdowns (16).
Hartigan, who was also named the ECAC Player of the Year, ran for 100 or more yards 23 times in his Brown career, and rushed for a Brown record 1,727 yards in 2005, second best in Ivy League football history. He set additional Brown records for touchdowns (21) and points (126) in a season. His 4,492 career rushing yards are third best in the Ivy record book and rank 20th in NCAA history. He also led the nation in rushing (172.7 yards per game) and scoring (12.6 points per game).
An outstanding student-athlete, Hartigan was honored as the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine National Academic All-American of the Year, the highest academic recognition attainable for a student-athlete. He was also named a First Team National Academic All-American for the second consecutive season, and was one of 16 players in the nation to be awarded a National Football Foundation Scholarship.
Hartigan is the first player in Brown football history to win the Harry Agganis/Harold Zimman Award as the outstanding Division I senior football player in New England, as selected by the New England Football Writers Association.