Warhawk football team returns home to celebrate latest national - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Warhawk football team returns home to celebrate latest national title

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 WHITEWATER (WKOW) -- As is tradition in Whitewater, the Warhawk football team climbed atop firetrucks as the top team in Division-III college football.

Fans lined the streets in Whitewater on Saturday afternoon as their Warhawks paraded through the town national champions. The celebration took place less than 24 hours after the team claimed the DIII national championship trophy with a 43-34 win over Mt. Union in Salem, VA on Friday night.

"Going up on those firetrucks and seeing everyone in the city of Whitewater celebrating with us, it's an amazing feeling," Whitewater senior quarterback Matt Behrendt said.

"It's just one of those things where it's just a great feeling to get this done. It's what you put all the hard work in for during the summer. It's a feeling like none other," senior safety Brady Grayvold.

This time the celebration was bittersweet, as the Warhawks did it without their head coach Lance Leipold. Leipold coached in his final game with Whitewater Friday night and has since moved on to become the head coach at the University of Buffalo.

Leipold was able to share one final moment with his team on the field after the team claimed its latest national title

"He said, guys we made it. I couldn't be happier to be your coach and I appreciate everything you've done and I love you guys," Whitewater senior receiver Jake Kumerow said.

"He loves all of us and we love him and we had to give him that last championship," Behrendt said.

Six national titles in his eight years in Whitewater, Leipold had as many national titles as total losses, as his record in eight years was 109-6.

"To do what he did is truly amazing. The amount of success he brings and the pride that he has and has brought to this school and putting us on the map," Behrendt said.

"He's going to go down as one of the greatest of all time to do what he's done. The numbers just show he's a great coach," Grayvold said.

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