DURHAM, N.H.-The 2005 University of New Hampshire football team continues to earn various honors and awards for its outstanding efforts this past season. This time the Wildcats were selected as the winners of the I-AA Lambert Meadowlands Cup and also named the ECAC Team of the Year. The announcement was made recently by the ECAC.
After recording a school record 11 victories, earning a share of the Atlantic 10 Football Conference championship, finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the nation, and advancing to the NCAA I-AA quarterfinals for the second consecutive season, the UNH football program has received more recognition than ever before.
Established as the 'Lambert Cup" in 1982 to recognize supremacy in Eastern college football, the award has since grown to recognize the best team in the East in Division I-AA. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, operator of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, took over the administration of the Lambert Meadowlands Awards in 1983.
To be eligible, a school must be located in the East or play half of its schedule against Lambert eligible teams. The territory includes New York, New Jersey, New England and Pennsylvania, while teams in the bordering states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and the District of Columbia qualify if half of their schedule features eligible teams.
UNH had four players recognized as All-Americans, boasted the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year in Sean McDonnell and sophomore quarterback Ricky Santos was the narrow runner-up in the battle for the Walter Payton Award.
UNH is the fourth team from the Atlantic 10 Football Conference to win the Lambert Meadowlands Cup, joining Villanova (2002), Delaware (2003) and James Madison (2004).
The Wildcats will also be recognized at the Lambert Cup dinner as the ECAC Team of the Year for their successful efforts in 2005.