College Football: St. Xavier’s Matt Munizzi earns prestigious national honor
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org December 28, 2012 8:12PM
Matt Munizzi, St. Xavier center and Rimington Award winner.
Updated: January 31, 2013 6:42AM
The contributions of a center in an explosive offense generally go unnoticed.
Not so for St. Xavier University center Matt Munizzi, who on Thursday was named the 2012 recipient of the prestigious NAIA Rimington Award.
The award, named after Dave Rimington, a first-team All-American center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and ’82, recognizes the most outstanding centers at the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA levels.
“This is a tremendous honor for Matt,” St. Xavier football coach Mike Feminis said in a statement. “He made all of the calls, and was the calming influence on our offensive line. Matt was an all-around great teammate and always showed how much he cared for the entire team, not just for our offense. He made a point all year to be a great prep player for our defensive guys in their weekly preparations. Matt was a true leader for our program.”
Few offenses were more explosive than St. Xavier’s, which ranked second in the NAIA in total passing offense (4,254 yards), No. 2 in passing yards per game (327.2 yards) and eighth in scoring (448 points) in 2012.
Munizzi, a senior, is the first player from St. Xavier to earn the national award and just the second player from the Mid-States Football Association to claim the honor since the NAIA version began in 2003.
“It is truly an honor to be the recipient of the 2012 Rimington Award for the NAIA,” Munizzi, a St. Rita graduate, said in a statement. “I want to thank my family and friends, who have been so supportive throughout my career, and my teammates as well who made my time playing football here so enjoyable.
“I also want to thank coach Feminis for recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to play at St. Xavier. Finally, I want to thank my position coaches, coach (Mark) Yanule, coach (Joe) Lecissi and coach (Michael) Johnson, who made this award a possibility for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but my decision to come to SXU was one of the greatest decisions of my life.”
Munizzi was also an MSFA All-Mideast League First Team selection.