Matt Bahr - Kent State - Linebacker

Updated: Nov 9, 2018

Matt Bahr is a 2018 National Football Foundation William V. Campbell Trophy Semifinalist, earned his undergraduate degree in 3 years and will earn a master’s degree in December. Matt has been a Mid-American Conference Distinguished Scholar Athlete in 2015 and 2016. Matt was on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list last year and is a nominee for the 2018 All-State Good Works Team. He is serving his 2nd year as President of Kent State’s Student Athletic Advisory Council. Matt spent 8 days in Belize on a service trip, helps at Haven of Rest Ministries and participates in “Reading with the Flashes” at local elementary schools.


  • 2018 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy Semifinalist

  • Earned his undergraduate degree in three years and will earn a master's degree in December

  • Currently carries a 4.0 GPA in graduate school; Named Mid-American Conference Distinguished Scholar Athlete in both 2015 and 2016

  • Named to Academic All-MAC Team in 2015 and 2016

  • Earned team’s Leo Strang Award for upperclassmen with highest GPA

  • Earned postgraduate scholarship from Northeast Ohio Chapter of National Football Foundation and spoke on behalf of all Postgraduate Award winners at its awards banquet

  • Earned James S. Crisp Endowed Athletic Scholarship


  • Team captain - One of only five Kent State players to be awarded single-digit jersey in 2018

  • Ranks 31st in the nation and fourth in the MAC in tackles per game; Two-year team nominee for Burlsworth Trophy

  • Led team in tackles after first two games of 2017, before suffering season-ending injury

  • Transitioned from safety to linebacker in spring of 2017 when there was a void to fill at linebacker


Matt is a vocal leader on and off the field and is a leader among all student-athletes at Kent State, staying active in all groups he's able to be involved in.  In the summer of 2017 when teammate Tyler Heintz passed away, Matt played a pivotal role in the grieving/healing process for the team, Tyler's family, and Matt & Tyler's hometown of Kenton, Ohio.  When teammate Antwan Dixon was hospitalized, Matt was the one that got a card and made sure the entire team signed it and sent it on.

  • Two-year member of Wuerffel Trophy Watch List and nominee for 2018 All-State Good Works Team.

  • Matt is serving his second year as president of Kent State’s Student Athletic Advisory Council  and has served as the football team’s SAAC representative for four years.

  • Mid-American Conference: One of three conference students selected on the MAC Student-Athlete Executive Committee and served on working group for sexual assault and misconduct prevention, MAC Well-Being Committee

  • Courts For Kids:  Matt participated in an eight-day service trip to Belize with other student-athletes, assisting in the construction of a multi-purpose sports court next to a school

  • Haven of Rest Ministries (Akron, Ohio): Preparing the center for guests, cleaning and preparing meals

  • Kent elementary schools: Participates in “Reading With The Flashes” and “Moving With The Flashes”  

  • Other area elementary schools:  “Gameday With The Flashes,” going to a different school district on Fridays before each home game playing with kids at recess

  • Kenton Church of the Nazarene: Vacation Bible School Crew Leader

  • Walk A Mile In Her Shoes: Participated in awareness event in each of the last four years

  • Portage County Soup Kitchen: Preparing and serving meals

  • Kent State Athletics: Two-year representative for Student-Athlete Ambassadors group for advancement staff, Volunteered for Athletics Scholarship Auction, “Game Changers” group focusing on social issues in Kent and around the country, APPLE conference representative in Nashville, Member of football team’s leadership council


Why was the Wuerffel Trophy created?  We felt that there was a void in major college football awards. Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel put it best when he wrote, “The Wuerffel. It’s about time. There’s an award for the best quarterback, best running back, wide receiver, best linebacker, best center and even best kicker and punter. Why not one for the best human being?”


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