Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award
Contact: Bob McComas (724) 738-2777; email:
Present by the Manheim Touchdown Club
December, 2006


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Michael McFadden, a senior defensive end on Grand Valley State University’s national championship team, has been selected as the repeat winner of the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award, sponsored by the Manheim Touchdown Club.

The Upshaw Award winner is selected by the sports information directors of the 150 football-playing NCAA Division II institutions and is named in honor of the current Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association.

Gene Upshaw was a standout lineman at Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) before achieving All-Pro status six times during his 16-year career with the NFL Oakland Raiders. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, his first year of eligibility and has served as the NFLPA executive director since 1983.

“I congratulate Mike McFadden on being named the winner of the Division II Lineman of the Year Award for the second consecutive year,” Mr. Upshaw said. “It comes as no surprise that Mike continues to receive accolades for his play on the football field. He continues to dominate against opposing quarterbacks as evidenced by his 23 sacks in the last 30 games.”

Don Harris, president of the Manheim Touchdown Club, which sponsors the award, added:

“When you look at all Mike McFadden has accomplished on the football field, it is only fitting that he should be the first two-time winner of this award. After hosting Mike and his family at our 2005 banquet last year, you could see that this young man processes a great deal of character to go along with his athletic ability.”

McFadden was the overwhelming choice in this year’s balloting; he was listed as one of the top three choices by 83 percent of the voters and was the No. 1 choice of 46 percent of the voters.

Jason Capizzi, a senior offensive tackle for Indiana University of Pa., andRobbie Klinetobe, a junior offensive guard for Chadron State University, tied for second place in this year’s voting.

The other finalists for the award included Newberry College offensive tackle Heath Benedict, North Carolina Central University center Robert Duncan, California University of Pa. center Tim McCutcheon, University of South Dakota center Chris Morton and Northwest Missouri State University defensive end Ryan Waters.

“It is truly an honor to be named the Gene Upshaw Award winner for a second time,” McFadden said. “I have so much respect for Mr. Upshaw and what the Gene Upshaw Award stands for and I am humbled with this honor when so many deserving candidates were nominated.”

Grand Valley State head coach Chuck Martin added, “Mike McFadden is everything the Gene Upshaw Awards stands for. Mike is an amazing football player, but more than that, Mike is even a better person, and we are excited to see Mike get his just due for his accomplishments both on and off the football field.”

McFadden, a 6-foot-1, 255-pound native of Saginaw, Mich. (Heritage High School), received Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year AwardSponsored by the Manheim Touchdown ClubMike McFadden double-team attention from opposing teams but still recorded 61 tackles this fall, including 29 solo takedowns, 13.5 tackles for loss (-54 yards) and seven quarterback sacks (-41 yards).

He also received the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Defensive Lineman of the Year honor for the second straight year, as well as a second successive first-team All-GLIAC citation.

McFadden recorded at least one tackle for loss in 30 of the last 39 games and at least one QB sack in 23 of the last 30 games. He is the NCAA D-II all-time record holder for career QB sacks with 34.5 and ranks fourth all-time in career tackles for loss with 55.5. Earlier this season, McFadden tied the NCAA all-division record for consecutive games with a QB sacks with 17.

What does not show up in McFadden’s statistics is the fact that, because of the attention paid to him by rivals, all three of his defensive line mates were able to record career highs in every category this fall.“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to play with so many quality football players at Grand Valley State and this is just as much of a team award as an idividual award. I was just 1/11th of our defense and that is how we approached every down defensively at Grand Valley State.”

As a unit, Grand Valley’s defensive unit led the nation in QB sacks per game (3.75) and ranked 13th in scoring defense (14.1) and 38th in rushing defense (105.1).

In addition to receiving the Upshaw Award in 2005, McFadden was named as a first-team All-American by the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Don Hansen’s Football Gazette, and Daktronics, Inc. and was named as the Football Gazette’s Defensive Lineman of the Year.

McFadden earned honorable mention All-GLIAC honors as a sophomore and was a Freshman All-American in 2003.

McFadden is also actively involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Pittsburgh State (Kans.) offensive lineman Nathan Baker was the initial recipient of the Upshaw Award in 2004.