SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 5, 2006 – Senior quarterback/wide receiver Damian Gunningsmith of the Springfield College football team has been named winner of the DeOrmond “Tuss” McLaughry Western Massachusetts Award. The award is sponsored by the Western Mass. chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.
Named for the former head football coach at Amherst College, Brown University, and Dartmouth College, the DeOrmond “Tuss” McLaughry Award goes annually to a football player affiliated with one of seven schools from within Western Massachusetts “for academic excellence at the collegiate level”. The seven schools include Amherst, AIC, UMass, Springfield, Western New England, Westfield State, and Williams.
A sports biology major from Trumansburg, N.Y., Gunningsmith received the award last night (April 4) at a banquet at UMass in Amherst. Damian played quarterback at SC as a freshman, but then moved over to wide receiver where he started his last three years.
“Damian is very deserving of this award and I could not be more pleased for him,” said Springfield College Head Coach Mike DeLong. “I would describe Damian as a very unselfish team player. He proved to be an outstanding athlete, an excellent role model, and a team leader.”
Gunningsmith has continually made the Dean’s List at Springfield College, where is a member of the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society. His grade-point-average (GPA) is currently 3.89. He made the Freedom Football Conference All-Academic Team as a sophomore, and continued to make the Empire Eight All-Academic Teams as a junior and senior after SC shifted conference affiliations. In his spare time, he has served as an aide to a service called Eldercare in the local area.
Damian is a 2002 graduate of Charles O. Dickerson High, where he played football for Head Coach Julian Munoz. He captained both the football and basketball teams as a senior. He was a Section IV All-Star as a senior in football, and during that same academic year, his basketball team won the Section IV Championship.
Damian is the son of Thomas and Rebecca Gunningsmith of Trumansburg.