It was announced earlier today that junior kicker Nathan Hierlihy (Redondo Beach, CA) of the University of Redlands football team has been named one of 13 finalists for the 2017 Fred Mitchell Award. This honor celebrates place-kickers' success on the field during the recent campaign and in the community through service and involvement.
Hierlihy is the only NCAA Division III place-kicker to be included in the final watch list for this year's award. He joins six nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision and six from NCAA Division II.
During the 2017 campaign, Hierlihy landed on the preseason and October watch lists for the Fred Mitchell Award. He also reeled in a pair of Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Athlete of the Week awards and was named to the All-SCIAC First Team as a kicker. He also earned two All-Conference Second-Team nods as a punter and as a member of Special Teams.
Earlier this year, Hierlihy reset the Bulldogs' school record with a 55-yard field goal and made two more 50-plus yarders during the team's 7-2 season. In the final game of the season, he accounted for 15 of the 21 points on five field goals in the Maroon and Gray's victory over Cal Lutheran University in the annual Smudge Pot rivalry game.
This talented Bulldog amassed 4,361 yards on 71 kickoffs for an average of 61.4 yards per kick. This included 37 touchbacks.
Off the football field, Hierlihy continues to make a difference in the community by serving as a Salvation Army bell-ringer and volunteer for Meals on Wheels for the fourth-consecutive holiday season. He also participates in several Christian Organizations on campus, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Intervarsity, and Young Life.
Later this spring, Hierlihy and the Bulldog football team will repeat their service of physical labor at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times® to help maintain and improve the facility. In May of 2016, they combined for 756 total hours for more than $20,000 worth of work.
The winner of the Fred Mitchell Award will be announced on December 11, 2017.
For the list of the 2017 finalists, please visit the Fred Mitchell Award website.