Nov. 24, 2008
WORCESTER, Mass. – After enjoying its best season since 1999, MIT football was rewarded by the New England Football Conference (NEFC) with a tremendous amount of hardware at the league’s annual postseason meeting. For the second time, Dwight Smith was named Coach of the Year, while DeRon Brown was named Boyd Division Offensive Player of the Year and James Oleinik earned his second consecutive Offensive Lineman of the Year honor. David Nackoul completed a near-sweep of the major awards for the Engineers as the senior nose tackle was selected as the Hal Chalmers Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Smith, who recently retired from coaching after 30 years on the sidelines, was nearly a unanimous pick for Coach of the Year after guiding MIT to its first non-losing season in seven years while picking up a win against Boyd Division champion, Maine Maritime.
Brown, who finished the regular-season as the NCAA Division III leading rusher, ran for an Institute-record 1,816 yards and scored a school-record 22 touchdowns. Brown average 181.6 yards per game and was also named to the NEFC Boyd Division First Team.
Oleinik also secured First Team Boyd Division accolades, but even more impressive was his second straight nod as Offensive Lineman of the Year. The Engineers averaged a whopping 275.4 yards per game on the ground while the offensive front combined to surrender just six sacks.
Nackoul capped MIT’s trophy winners with the program’s fourth Hal Chalmers Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. An Electric Engineering and Computer Science major with a 4.9 grade point average, Nackoul was a four-year starter and a dominant player in the trenches.
Fellow senior Steven Nunez, who played just two seasons with Tech’s grid program, also earned Boyd Division First Team accolades. A consistent performer in the defensive backfield, Nunez led the Engineers with four interceptions while making 47 tackles in nine starts.
In addition to its first team plaudits, four MIT players were named to the Boyd Division Second Team as senior offensive lineman Ryan MacDowell, Nackoul, senior defensive back Kevin Foley, and junior defensive lineman Alex Rubino secured All-Conference honors.