WACO, TEXAS-- Senior running back Stephan Lewis (Coatesville, Pa.) of the University of New Hampshire football team was named a Division I-AA first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. The announcement was made today via a release from the organization.
The honors continue to pour in for Lewis, who has also earned the Coca-Cola Season Gold Helmet voted upon by the New England Football Writers, first-team All-ECAC, first-team All-New England, and first-team All-Atlantic 10 honors. He was also one of 16 finalists for the Walter Payton Award, which is given annually to the top offensive player in I-AA football.
Lewis enjoyed tremendous success during his senior year, finishing first in the NCAA Division I-AA standings in all-purpose yardage with 202.6 ypg., 16th in I-AA in rushing with an average of 104.73 yards per contest, and 24th overall in scoring with a mark of 7.45 ppg. Lewis completes his career as the Wildcats' third all-time leading rusher with 3,679 career rushing yards and eighth on UNH's all-time receiving yards listing with 1,602. He also made 164 career catches, which ranks him fourth all-time in that category at UNH.
"We are all very excited that Stephan was selected one of the top players in the country," said UNH head coach Sean McDonnell. "He is a very special kid with some very special football talents and it is a tremendous honor for him to be recognized by the American Football Coaches of America."
Lewis had several outstanding games in 2002, including the squad's 31-14 victory over No. 12 UMass, where he rushed for 186 yards, scored three touchdowns and compiled 260 all-purpose yards. As a result, he became only the second player to win the Bill Knight MVP Award three straight times and he was named The Fooball Gazette Co-National Player Of the Week and Atlantic 10 Player of the Week.
Lewis rushed for over 100 yards six times during the season, including the 189-yard effort vs. the Minutemen, 187 yards at Dartmouth and 159 yards vs. Northeastern. He also compiled over 200 yards of all-purpose yardage five times, including a 305 all-purpose yardage total at James Madison. He scored a grand total of 13 touchdowns this season, eight on the ground and five through the air.
Lewis is a top candidate to be named first-team All-American by several other organizations, including the Sports Network , The Football Gazette and Walter Camp, all of which will be released in the near future.