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Former Fred Mitchell Award winner named co-chairman

Congratulations to Matt Cotiguala for becoming co-chairman of the Fred Mitchell Award selection committee, joining incumbent Rob Perry.

Matt was the 2015 winner of the Fred Mitchell Award for his kicking exploits and exceptional community involvement. As co-chairman of the FMA Selection Committee, Cotiguala will assist Perry with the daunting task of identifying worthy candidates for the preseason Watch List, monthly recognition kickers and ultimately the Top Ten selectees and the winner.

“I love to be able to help out and keep things running smoothly,” Cotiguala said.

The current Selection Committee consists of 38 individuals who range from former Hall of Fame kickers to high profile NFL executives, media members and community-minded business personnel.

“We are proud and fortunate to have Matt Cotiguala step up to assist in identifying worthy candidates for our national award,” said Fred Mitchell, a former Chicago Tribune sports columnist and All-American kicker. “This is the 15th year of the National Football Foundation recognizing the best kicker among 750 eligible schools from FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA and community colleges. The award is based on kicking performance, as well as community service.”

Cotiguala won the award in his senior year at St. Ambrose College in Iowa.

Cotiguala was 23-of-25 on field goals in the 2015 season, going 5-of-6 from 40-plus yards. He was a perfect 28-of-28 on his point after attempts.
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected for the Fred Mitchell Award,” Cotiguala said after being notified he was the winner. “The Award validates the incredible focus and hard work not only shown by myself but the entire St. Ambrose football team this season. I am proud to have brought this award to the St. Ambrose family.”
Cotiguala was very active in civic and community service endeavors while in college. He volunteered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, assisting agents in a variety of projects and he volunteered for a Congressman near his hometown to assist congressional aides. Cotiguala actively assisted veterans, volunteered for the Special Olympics, served in area soup kitchens and helped develop local high school kickers.

“Rob Perry has been a tremendous volunteer with our organization and we truly appreciate his ongoing efforts over the years,” Mitchell said.

The 2024 Fred Mitchell Award Watch List will be released on Aug. 1. Monthly recognition will be announced throughout the season. And a winner will be named in early December.

Past Award Winners

2023 — Landon Reeves
2022 — Ethan Gettman
2021 — Ethan Ratke
2019 — Luis Aguilar
2018 — Roldan Alcobendas
2017 — Cole Tracy
2016 — Matt Davis
2015 — Matt Cotiguala
2014 — Tom Obarski
2013 — Sergio Castillo
2012 — Patrick Murray
2011 — Tom Lynch
2010 — Tom Lynch
2009 — Jeff Schebler

Selection Committee

Luis Aguilar: 2019 Fred Mitchell Award recipient from Northern Arizona University. Kicked for Philadelphia Stars
Roldan Alcobendas: 2018 Fred Mitchell Award recipient from Eastern Washington University
Carl Allegretti: NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amatuer Football Award, NFF Board Member, played football at Butler University
Patrick Arbor: Former chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade, prominent philanthropist, community supporter and worldwide traveler; longtime trustee for his alma mater, Loyola University
Tom Beck: College Football Hall of Fame Head Coach, National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Board Member
Kevin Butler: College Football Hall of Fame kicker from University of Georgia, NFL kicker for Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals, American Football Kicking Hall of Fame
Sergio Castillo: 2013 Fred Mitchell Award recipient from West Texas A&M University, NFL and CFL kicker. West Texas A&M Hall of Fame
Matt Cotiguala: 2015 Fred Mitchell Award recipient from St. Ambrose University
Matt Davis: 2016 Fred Mitchell Award recipient from University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Sean Gothier: National Football Foundation Minnesota Chapter Founder & Board Member, vrbo Citrus Bowl Team Selection Committee
Teddy Greenstein: Former Chicago Tribune sportswriter and former Heisman Trophy voter
Chris Husby: Special Teams Football Academy owner focusing on kicking, punting and snapping
Mike Husted: NFL kicker for 9 seasons and at the University of Virginia, Founder of National Camp Series network of kicking coaches
Brian Jackson: Arena Football League and Ball State University kicker, Founder and Director of National Kicking Rankings camps
Dan Jiggetts: Ivy League Hall of Famer, co-captain at Harvard, Chicago Bears offensive lineman, NFF Chicago Metro Chapter Board Member
Chris Kearney: NFF Chicago Metro Chapter Board President, vrbo Citrus Bowl Team Selection Committee
Conrad “Connie” Kowal: Sports marketing executive formerly with the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Cubs
Greg Loberg: Partner at Loberg & Associates
Nick Lowery: Inducted into Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame as kicker, Dartmouth College kicker
Tom Lynch: 2011 and 2010 Fred Mitchell Award recipient from Saint Xavier University, kicked for 2011 NAIA National Champions
Steve McMichael: College Football Hall of Famer from University of Texas including briefly as kicker, NFL with Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers
Jeff Michalczyk: Received NFF St. Louis Chapter Scholar-Athlete Award, played linebacker at Drake University
Fred Mitchell: Wittenberg University Hall of Fame, American Football Kicking Hall of Fame, AFA Minor League Football Hall of Fame, Indiana Football Hall of Fame
Mark Murphy: Green Bay Packers President, Team Captain on Washington Redskins Super Bowl teams in 1983 and 1984
Patrick Murray: 2012 Fred Mitchell Award recipient from Fordham University, NFL kicker for Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns. Fordham Hall of Fame
Tom Obarski: 2014 Fred Mitchell Award recipient from Concordia University St. Paul
Rob Perry: Fred Mitchell Award Selection Committee Chairman, vrbo Citrus Bowl Team Selection Committee
Don Pierson: Retired Chicago Tribune pro football sportswriter, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame writers’ wing
Dan Pompei: Veteran award-winning sportswriter with the Athletic and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame writers’ wing.
Ethan Ratke: 2021 winner of the Fred Mitchell Award from James Madison University, consensus All-American who kicked more field goals during his career (101) than any kicker at any division
Landon Reeves: 2023 winner of the Fred Mitchell Award from Ottawa University in Arizona, where he was an NAIA All-American
Jeff Schebler: 2009 Fred Mitchell Award recipient from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, DIII National Champion, 4 time All-American
Bob Thomas: NCAA Silver Award recipient at Notre Dame, made the winning FG to win 1974 National Championship, 12 years in NFL
Wolfe Tone: National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Board Member, was Herky Hawkeye mascot at University of Iowa
Cole Tracy: 2017 Fred Mitchell Award recipient from Assumption College, 2018 Lou Groza Award Finalist at Louisiana State University
Todd Wilkins: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater kicker including for conference championship teams in the late 1980s
Gary Zauner: University of Wisconsin-LaCross kicker, NFL and College Kicking Consultant, Special Teams Coach for 13 years in the NFL
Rob Zvonar: Head Coach at Lincoln-Way East High School including multiple Illinois State Championships, coached 2007 US Army All-American Bowl

Matt Cotiguala Kicking 2015

Matt Cotiguala with Fred Mitchell.