John Lovett Wins Bushnell Cup, Becomes 10th Tiger To Earn Ivy League Player of the Year Honor

  • December 5, 2016


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John Lovett rewrote the Princeton football record book while leading the Tigers to their 11th Ivy League championship, and he was rewarded Monday by being named the 2016 Bushnell Cup winner as the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year.

Lovett is the 10th Princeton player to be bestowed with the Bushnell Cup, following Walt Snickenberger (1974), Jason Garrett (1988), Judd Garrett (1989), Keith Elias (1993), Dave Patterson (1995), Jeff Terrell (2006), Mike Catapano (2012), Quinn Epperly (2013), and Mike Zeuli (2014).

Teammate Kurt Holuba was a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year award after leading the Ivy League’s top-ranked total and scoring defense, but the honor went to Dartmouth senior Folarin Orimolade, the only player in the league with more sacks than Holuba.

The announcement was made before a live audience on The Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN) at a special press conference and reception co-hosted by the National Football Foundation (NFF) and presented by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.

Lovett, who said he was thrilled to meet Archie Manning before the ceremony, was all smiles when his name was announced by Robin Harris, the Executive Director of the Ivy League. After thanking his parents, coaches, and teammates (several of whom made the trip to the Waldorf-Astoria), Lovett called the Bushnell Cup ‘a team award,’ a fitting term after his team won the Ivy League championship.

Lovett led the FCS with 20 rushing touchdowns this season, which broke Keith Elias’ single-season Princeton record of 19, set in 1993. He also threw 10 touchdowns and caught one, meaning he accounted for 31 touchdowns this season. Five other Ivy League teams scored 30 touchdowns or fewer.

Lovett accounted for a Princeton-record seven touchdowns in the win at Cornell, and he accounted for at least two touchdowns in every Ivy League game this season.

“It’s incredible to have a player like John, who can play so many different positions, and who brings such talent and energy to our team,” said Bob Surace, the Ivy League Head Coach of the Year. “He is all about the team, but what he did this year was incredible.

“I’m also proud of what Kurt Holuba accomplished this season,” Surace said. “He led the best defense in the Ivy League, and I’m really excited to see what he can do in the future. He played a critical role in this championship season, and I know he is already looking forward to 2017.”
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