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Pairings party planned
Trine headed to NCAA competition
Trine University will celebrate an undefeated football season, Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) conference title, and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship bid with a party and trophy presentation beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday in Fabiani Theatre and the University Center mall area.
The Thunder (9-0 overall, 6-0 MIAA) sealed the conference win and the Black and Blue Border Brawl traveling trophy with a 9-0 win over Adrian College in Adrian, Mich., on the road Saturday, Nov. 8. The win gave Trine its first MIAA football title and first NCAA Division III playoff berth.
Anchoring the celebration will be the announcement of the NCAA playoff pairings on ESPN. The party atmosphere will take over at 2 p.m., with music, food, and rallying chants led by the Trine cheerleaders. At 2:30 p.m., Trine head football coach Matt Land and athletic director Jeff Posendek will present the traveling trophy, awarded annually to the winner of the Trine-Adrian game, to Trine University President Dr. Earl D. Brooks II in Fabiani Theatre.
MIAA commissioner Dave Neilson will then present President Brooks and coach Land the MIAA conference title trophy. Neilson, an Albion College alumnus and the eighth appointed MIAA commissioner, will make comments on Trine’s accomplishment. Neilson majored in physical education and economics at Albion, where he lettered four years in football at quarterback. He achieved All-America recognition as a senior, and was later drafted and played briefly for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Coach Land will also speak about the significance of the season and its dramatic turnaround from the 0-10 season just four years ago. Dr. Brooks will follow with words on the entire Trine community’s pride in their team.
At 3 p.m., all attention will turn to the stage in the theater for the ESPN announcement of NCAA regional pairings. After a response to the match-up by the Trine athletic department, the event will wrap up at around 3:40 p.m.
Thunder coach Matt Land is a top pick for coach of the year on the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Web site. The Office of Student Life asks the public to join the Trine community in logging on to www.coachoftheyear.com and clicking on “vote now” to select Land for the honor.