Bigach, Vandenberg honored for academic achievement

BY BEN ROSS | MAY 10, 2013 5:00 AM

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In recognition of their academic efforts at Iowa, former Hawkeyes football players James Vandenberg and Steve Bigach have been named to the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society.

The honor recognizes senior football players who saw significant playing time and carried a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher throughout their academic careers.

Bigach, a defensive lineman, earned academic All-Big Ten honors in 2010, 2011, and 2012. He recorded a 3.67 GPA and earned a degree in environmental science while starting all 12 games as a senior in 2012.

Bigach recorded 38 tackles and half a sack while splitting time between defensive end and tackle.

Vandenberg also started and played every offensive snap as a senior at quarterback in 2012. The Keokuk native earned a degree in health and human physiology while recording a 3.36 GPA.

A team cocaptain, Vandenberg struggled mightily during his senior campaign, throwing just 7 touchdowns as Iowa recorded four wins all season. Vandenberg had more success during his junior year, in which he passed for 25 scores and led Iowa to a 7-6 record and a bowl berth.

Vandenberg — Iowa’s recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award — signed a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings following the conclusion of the NFL draft.

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