Bernhard named to Good Works Team


Bernhard named to Good Works Team

Noah Cloonan

At Ashland University off-the-field excellence is just as important as on-the-field production and no one exemplifies this better than senior linebacker Zach Bernhard.

Bernhard has been recognized as a part of the 2016 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team. This award is given to 24 college football players from across the country and is one of the most prestigious awards that an athlete can get. 

The journey to this award for Bernhard was a long one and started when he was still an underclassman at AU.

“It started a few years ago,” Bernhard said. “Coach Owens mentioned it to me, he said that there was this award that was out there and that if I kept doing the right things and kept volunteering my time and kept looking out for the community and being a leader he thought he could get me on it.”

Bernhard was involved in many things around campus and in the community. He volunteered countless hours at the University Hospitals Samaritan Medical center, completing tasks ranging from helping patients to running errands for medical staff. 

He also coached local youth basketball, football, and baseball around the Ashland area and served as a mentor for several children.

Bernhard said that he loved giving back to the community that has given so much to him.

But through all of it his favorite work was always done with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

 “I’ve really taken an interest in S.A.A.C,” Bernhard said. “That’s been awesome, you know we raised over $5000 for Make a Wish last year…so that was awesome to get that going.”

In the classroom, Bernhard held a 3.61 grade-point average as a Biochemistry undergrad at AU. 

On the field, Bernhard has held the role of backup linebacker and has also played on special teams.

The 25th anniversary Good Works Team had 165 nominees of which 12 athletes were chosen from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and 12 were chosen from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and III, and NAIA schools.

Bernhard was one of the 12 to be chosen from the latter category.

“When I got the press release it was real today,” Bernhard said, “so I went straight over to the Athletic department and thanked everybody over there because I couldn’t have done it without them. It’s really a testament to everyone here at the university, its really been a team effort.”

Bernhard and the rest of the award recipient will be recognized during halftime of the 2017 Allstate Sugar Bowl.