Thu, Aug. 2, 2012 - [Football]
Loras College senior offensive lineman Michael ‘Mooch' Donnelly has been nominated for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. The starter - who scored a touchdown on a goal line fumble last season – is one of 65 nominees in the combined non-FBS list. That list includes players from the FCS, Division II, Division III, and NAIA rosters.
Donnelly's nomination was based on his work in a number of venues off the field. As the AFCA and Allstate Insurance Company note, "tackles and touchdowns have no bearing on this award, for it is the many examples of ‘volunteerism' and ‘giving back' that have earned these players nominations from their respective colleges and universities."
A two-time Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) All-Academic team member, Donnelly works primarily with two organizations on campus and multiple groups off campus. He contributes to the College Activities Board as the Concert Executive and offers help to other committees on the board. Loras' award-winning Dance Marathon program, which raises money for the Children's Miracle Network in Iowa City, Iowa also benefits from Donnelly's enthusiasm as a ‘Morale Captain'. Loras' program has raised more funds per capita than any other college each of the previous two years. He also participated in the department's Special Olympics Challenge Day in April of 2012 – a program hosted by Loras College's SAAC and athletic department in coordination with the NCAA Division III partnership with the Special Olympics.
CAB Advisor and Assistant Director of Student Life Michele Nauman offered her thoughts during the nomination process.
"He (Michael) is a true team player, actively seeking out opportunities where he can be of assistance," Nauman said. "He brings liveliness to every interaction with members of the College Activities Board and committees and I appreciate his willingness to show that verve to all of us."
Off campus, Donnelly works with Have Dreams and Summit Square where he participates in activities with autistic children and senior citizens.
"Michael really does embody what we're trying to do with our student-athletes at Loras and on our team," head coach Paul Mierkiewicz said. "He gives us everything he has when he is with us on the field and in the film room and performs very well in the classroom and with his other activities. This really is an honor to be nominated."
Donnelly, an English Creative Writing and Secondary Education major, was thrilled when he learned about the nomination.
"It is a great honor to be representing the Duhawks in this way," Donnelly said over the phone from his suburban Chicago home this week. "Even if I don't make the team, it is still great exposure for our program and show that we are good athletes and good people."
As far as the 2012 season goes, ‘Mooch' was optimistic.
"We've got five returning starters on the offensive line and I hope our group can be a source of leadership for the team. I think we'll improve on what we did last season. I am excited to get going."
In order to meet the criteria set forth, each player must be actively involved and committed to working with a charitable organization, service group, or community service while maintaining a strong academic standing. Each of the two teams, consisting of 22 total players among the 117 nominated, will be announced in September.
The Loras College football team returns to campus on August 11. The Duhawks kick off the season at home on September 1 against Elmhurst College.