Gustavus Adolphus junior offensive lineman Brian Grundmeyer (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), senior defensive lineman Tom Einberger, Jr. (West St. Paul, Minn.), and senior defensive back Brad Kruckeberg (Ellendale, Minn.) have been named 2011 MIAC Football Second Team All-Conference by the league’s coaches as a part of the 2011 MIAC Football awards.
St. Thomas senior wide receiver Fritz Waldvogel earned the Jim Christopherson MIAC Most Valuable Player Award, while senior offensive lineman Dan Chapman earned the Mike Stam Award as the MIAC’s top lineman. Glenn Caruso was named the MIAC Coach-of-the-Year for the second season in a row.
Junior Brian Grundmeyer makes an appearance on the All-Conference team for the first time in his career. Entrusted with protecting quarterback Logan Becker’s blindside at left tackle this season, the Inver Grove Heights, Minn. native was Gustavus’ most consistent offensive lineman. Grundmeyer started in all ten games, allowing just two sacks and anchoring the Gustie ground attack. Against conference opponents, Gustavus averaged 142.8 yards per game on the ground, ranking sixth in the MIAC.
“Brian Grundmeyer helped to anchor our offensive line this year. Brian is always steady and can be trusted to do his job and make those around him better,” said Head Coach Peter Haugen.
Senior Tom Einberger has been a staple of the Gustavus defensive front for three seasons, earning All-MIAC honors for the first time this year. Einberger turned in career-high tackling marks this season, finishing with nine solo and 29 assisted tackles for a total of 38. The West St. Paul native made two-and-half tackles for loss and recovered one fumble while starting in all 10 games. Einberger registered two seven-tackle games and blocked an extra point on Nov. 5 against Augsburg. Gustavus ranked fifth in the MIAC in run defense, giving up an average of 168.0 yards per game on the ground.
“Tom Einberger has been a key player in the middle of our defense over the past three years,” said Haugen. “His leadership both on and off speak to his strong character and passion for the game. Tom’s positive attitude and his fierce competitive spirit will be missed but not forgotten.
Senior safety Brad Kruckeberg ranked second on the team with 48 total tackles (26 solo, 22 asst.). Kruckeberg picked off a team-high two passes while defending on six and breaking up four. A Second-Team All-Conference performer in 2010, the product of Ellendale, Minn. started in all ten games this season and was the leader of a secondary unit that ranked second in the league in pass defense after allowing 164.0 yards per game through the air. To go along with his defensive statistics, Brad ranked fourth in the MIAC in punt return average at 8.8 yards per return.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the sixth annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for football and Brad Kruckeberg was chosen to represent the Gusties. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.
“Brad Kruckeberg had another tremendous year both in the defensive secondary and as a return specialist. Brad is a committed leader, student and player whose hard work and dedication and has meant so much to Gustie football over the last four years,” commented Haugen.
Thirty five first-team honorees and 36 second team performers make up the 2011 MIAC All-Conference first and second teams. The First Team featured 19 seniors, seven juniors, eight sophomores and one freshman, while the Second Team included 15 seniors, 18 juniors and three sophomores. Out of the 71 total selections, 55 originally hail from Minnesota.