Four Wittenberg students have been selected to receive financial awards during the 2020-21 academic year in honor of the late Dave Maurer, a legendary Wittenberg University coach, athletics administrator, professor, and National College Football Hall of Famer.
Wittenberg is now in its second decade of awarding the Dave Maurer Honorary Scholarship. This year’s recipients were selected from a large pool of applicants and include: Grant Sparks, class of 2021 from Portsmouth, Ohio, who is a biology major; Braeden Meier, class of 2022 from Owatonna, Minnesota, who is a marketing and communication major; Jeremaih Mensah, class of 2022 from Lehigh Acres, Florida, who is an exercise science major; and Jarod Nash, class of 2022 from Newark, Ohio, who is a computer science major.
The Dave Maurer Honorary Scholarship was created in 2008 and is awarded to a sophomore, junior or senior male student with financial need who has demonstrated such qualities as self-discipline, teamwork, cooperation, self-confidence, pride in accomplishment, competitive spirit, and the ability to deal with adversity. The tuition scholarship may be renewable on an annual basis or may be rotated, per the discretion of the selection committee.
Maurer remains one of the most beloved Wittenberg leaders and mentors in the illustrious history of the University's intercollegiate athletics program, especially among the student-athletes he guided on and off the field during his 40 years (1955-95) as an athletics administrator, professor and coach of the Tiger football, swimming, track and field, and golf teams.
After more than a decade as an assistant football coach, Maurer took the reins in 1969 from fellow National College Football Hall of Famer, Bill Edwards. Maurer posted a career record of 129-23-3, good for an astounding .842 winning percentage, best among active coaches at that time. His Tiger teams went undefeated three times and won seven Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) championships in his 15 seasons as head coach, to go along with seven OAC crowns during his years as an assistant coach.
Maurer led the Tigers to two NCAA Division III football national championships as a head coach, in addition to a West Region title in 1969. In addition, the 1978 and 1979 squads finished second in the NCAA Division III Tournament, and he served as assistant coach for two other national title teams in the 1960s. Maurer earned national coach of the year honors twice, district coach of the year four times and conference coach of the year five times. His career culminated with induction into the National College Football Hall of Fame in 1991, the first "true" NCAA Division III coach to garner such recognition.