Pitt State’s Wright named MIAA Coach of the Year; Katsis earns Freshman of the Year

Brian Wright led the Gorillas to their first MIAA championship since 2014.
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PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pitt State HC Brian Wright has been named the MIAA Coach of the Year.

Wright led the Gorillas to an 11-0 record in the regular season and the MIAA conference championship. It’s Pitt State’s first MIAA title since 2014, and their first undefeated season since 2004. The Gorillas have earned the #3 seed in Super Region 3 and will host UIndy in the first round of the Division II playoffs on Saturday at 1 PM.

PSU freshman WR/KR Kolbe Katsis is the MIAA Freshman of the Year. Katsis racked up 450 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns this season. He also averaged 28.1 yards per kick return.

In total, 18 Pitt State football players earned All-MIAA recognition on Tuesday – including 8 1st team All-MIAA selections.


Eighteen members of the Pittsburg State University football team earned All-MIAA honors Tuesday (Nov. 15) following a vote of the conference head coaches.

Additionally, head coach Brian Wright was selected the 2022 MIAA Coach of the Year and wide receiver/return specialist Kolbe Katsis was named the MIAA Freshman of the Year.

Eight Gorillas were named to the first-team All-MIAA squad: junior tight end Devon Garrison, junior offensive lineman Trase Jeffries, sophomore running back Caleb Lewis, graduate safety Brandon Mlekus, senior wide receiver Bryce Murphy, sophomore defensive lineman Dubem Okonkwo, graduate linebacker P.J. Sarwinski and senior offensive lineman Kory Woodruff.

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Christian Carter, redshirt junior defensive back Rico Payton and graduate defensive lineman Zeke Wall garnered second team All-MIAA accolades, while sophomore quarterback Chad Dodson Jr., redshirt sophomore linebacker Alex Gaskill, Katsis, junior defensive back Michael Lacey and redshirt junior offensive linebacker Cooper Schettler were named to the third-team All-MIAA squad.

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Luke Jennings and sophomore defensive lineman Cole Sample received honorable mention All-MIAA recognition.

Garrison (Elk River, Minn.) has caught 29 passes for a team-leading 555 yards (19.14 ypc) and five touchdowns on the season, while Murphy (Neosho, Mo.) has 20 catches for 406 yards (20.3 ypc) and five scores in eight games played. Carter (Kansas City, Mo.) also has made a team-leading 39 grabs for 539 yards (13.8 ypc) and five touchdowns.

Lewis (Burleson, Texas) has carried the ball 188 times for 859 yards (4.6 ypc) and 10 touchdowns thus far.

Jeffries (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and Woodruff (Sioux City, Iowa) have helped pave the way up front for the Gorillas to average 33.5 points and 393.8 total yards per game.

Dodson (Jacksonville, Fla.) has completed 172 of 299 passes (.575) for 2,543 yards and 27 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. He also has rushed the ball for 162 net yards and a score.

Sarwinski (Galena, Kan.) has made a team-leading 74 tackles (39 solo) with 10.0 tackles-for-loss, 3.0 quarterback sacks and four pass breakups, while Okonkwo (Kansas City, Mo.) has posted 29 tackles with 12.0 TFLs, 8.5 quarterback sacks and two forced fumbles.

Mlekus (Frontenac, Kan.) has registered 59 tackles, 2.5 TFLs and two fumble recoveries, while Gaskill (Webb City, Mo.) has posted 53 stops including 9.5 TFLs and 1.5 QB sacks. Jennings (Gardner, Kan.) has made 32 tackles with 5.0 TFLs and two PBUs.

Wall (Carl Junction, Mo.) has logged 18.0 tackles, 2.0 TFLs and a fumble recovery thus far, while Sample (Jarbalo, Kan.) has made 15 stops and 2.0 TFLs on the season.
Payton (St. Louis, Mo.) has registered 11 tackles and four pass breakups on the season, while Lacey (Cleveland, Ohio) has compiled 24 tackles, six pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

Katsis (Owasso, Okla.) has returned 14 kickoffs for a 28.1-yard average on the season. He also has caught 20 passes for 450 yards (22.5 ypc) and five touchdowns.

Wright has led the Gorillas to their first MIAA title since 2014 and the program’s first outright conference crown since 2011. In his third year at the helm of the Pitt State program, Wright has compiled a 21-5 (.808) overall record leading the Gorillas.