Kolar wins prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy

The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletic Communications.

LAS VEGAS – Iowa State senior All-American tight end Charlie Kolar is one of the most decorated players in Iowa State history and he solidified his place in Cyclone history by receiving the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy tonight at the 63rd National Football Foundation Awards Dinner in Las Vegas.

The Campbell Trophy is given annually to the nation’s best scholar-athlete football player and is considered the Academic Heisman. It ranks as one of college football’s most sought after and competitive awards, recognizing an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.

Kolar, who was in attendance to accept the 25-pound bronze trophy, will also receive a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship.

Kolar will be a feature interview on Thursday’s ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show and honored Dec. 13 by the New York Athletic Club in New York. He will also travel to Indianapolis for the CFP National Championship (Jan. 14) to be recognized in an on-field salute.

Kolar was humbled and thrilled to receive the esteemed award.

“This is an incredible honor,” Kolar said. “The finalists this year had amazing resumes, and to be recognized along with the other winners of this prestigious award, I am so grateful. When you come to college on an athletic scholarship you have the responsibility to learn, and I don’t think you should waste that opportunity. My parents played a huge role in instilling these values in me and it was great to have them both here with me tonight.”

“Charlie is as high-end of a competitor I have ever been around,” Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said. “Whatever Charlie has put his mind to, he’s been successful. He wants to be the best. If it’s school, he wants to be the best. If it’s on the football field, he wants to be the best. He’s earned this honor and I’m so thrilled for him, because all of his hard work has got him where he is today.”

A native of Norman, Okla., Kolar set the standard for tight ends and is one of the greatest players in Iowa State history. As a two-time All-American and two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, Kolar is the only football player in school history to earn First Team CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades two times.

“The first Iowa State player to be named an All-American and Academic All-American, Charlie Kolar embodies what the Campbell Trophy represents,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons, Peyton and Eli, were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “He has led one of the most successful eras in Cyclone history while graduating with a near-perfect GPA. Charlie stands as the perfect example for the next generation to emulate.”

Kolar, who earned All-Big 12 First Team honors for the third-straight season, owns all of ISU’s tight end school records in his fabulous career, including career receiving yards (2,148), career receptions (164) and career touchdowns (22).

His 22 touchdown catches ranks third and his 164 receptions ranks fourth, respectively, on ISU’s overall career record list.

Kolar, who has a caught a pass in 35-straight games, the second-longest streak in school history and the nation’s fifth-best active streak, finished off his career with another fantastic season.

The two-time Mackey Award finalist is second on the team in receptions (58) and receiving yards (723), both single-season school marks by a tight end. His 5.2 catches per game ranks fourth nationally among FBS tight ends.

Kolar matched his stellar performance on the gridiron in the classroom.

Kolar graduated in the fall of 2020 with a 3.99 cumulative GPA in mechanical engineering. In March of 2021, Kolar received the prestigious Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award, honoring outstanding seniors who display high character, outstanding achievement in academics and university/community activities.

A 2020 Big 12 Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award recipient and four-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 honoree, Kolar has maintained a 4.00 GPA in his postgraduate work in finance.

Cyclone fans can watch Kolar for one final time at the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl, as the Cyclones take on No. 19 Clemson on Dec. 29 in Orlando.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.