American Football Database
Bill Knight Trophy
First contestedRivalry 1897, Trophy 1986
Most recent meeting2011
Trophy awarded to Dontra Peters, UNH
All-time seriesUMass leads, 43–27–3

The Bill Knight Trophy is an annual trophy given to the Most Outstanding Player of the Colonial Clash, a college football rivalry game played between the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of New Hampshire. A new trophy is cast each year, therefore allowing the honoree to keep his award permanently.


The award is named after the long-time Sports Information Director at New Hampshire. Knight died in November 1985. In addition to his duties at UNH, Knight was a past President of the New England Sports Information Directors Association, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee at the 1984 Winter Games and a recipient of the Irving T. Marsh ECAC Service Bureau Award. He also served as the Information Officer of the Yankee Conference. Knight was inducted into the University of New Hampshire 100 Club Hall of Fame on October 2, 1987.[1] The trophy was first awarded to Tim Bryant of UMass in 1986, and has been given every year since to the player who gives the best performance in the annual contest.


Year Winner Position Team Result Location
1986 Tim Bryant QB UMass UMass, 38–31 Amherst, MA
1987 Bob Jean QB UNH UNH, 17–10 Durham, NH
1988 Dave Palazzi QB UMass UMass, 64–42 Durham, NH
1989 Gary Wilkos QB UMass UMass, 34–28 Amherst, MA
1990 Matt Griffin QB UNH UNH, 36–18 Durham, NH
1991 Matt Griffin QB UNH UNH, 35–28 Amherst, MA
1992 Jim Stayer QB UNH UNH, 20–13 Durham, NH
1993 John Johnson FB UMass UMass, 15–13 Amherst, MA
1994 Mike Foley DE UNH UNH, 14–11 Durham, NH
1995 Jerry Azumah TB UNH UNH, 32–29 Amherst, MA
1996 Jerry Azumah TB UNH UNH, 40–7 Durham, NH
1997 Jerry Azumah TB UNH UNH, 28–10 Amherst, MA
1998 Marcel Shipp TB UMass UMass, 27–26 Durham, NH
1999 Adrian Zullo WR UMass UMass, 34–19 Amherst, MA
2000 Stephan Lewis TB UNH UNH, 24–16 Durham, NH
2001 Stephan Lewis TB UNH UNH, 35–24 Amherst, MA
2002 Stephan Lewis TB UNH UNH, 31–14 Durham, NH
2003 Jason Peebler WR UMass UMass, 44–30 Amherst, MA
2004 Steve Baylark TB UMass UMass, 38–21 Durham, NH
2005 David Ball WR UNH UNH, 34–28 Amherst, MA
2006 Jason Hatchell DE UMass UMass, 28–20 Durham, NH
2007 Matt Lawrence TB UMass UMass, 27–7 Amherst, MA
2008 Matt Parent LB UNH UNH, 52–21 Durham, NH
2009 Jon Hernandez TB UMass UMass, 23–17 Amherst, MA
2010 Matt Evans LB UNH UNH, 39–13 Foxboro, MA
2011 Dontra Peters TB UNH UNH, 27–21 Foxboro, MA

See also


  • Quarterbacks won the first seven awards. No quarterback has won since.
  • No player from the losing team has been awarded the trophy.
  • Four Bill Knight Trophy winners have gone on to play in the NFL: Jerry Azumah, Marcel Shipp, Steve Baylark, and Matt Lawrence.


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