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Whalen keys football's upswing

Nick Spring

Issue date: 8/28/09 Section: Football
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Senior quarterback Dan Whalen has led the Spartans to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons. He says that losing a regular season game this year is unacceptable.
Senior quarterback Dan Whalen has led the Spartans to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons. He says that losing a regular season game this year is unacceptable.

During his senior year at Willoughby South High School, Dan Whalen set school records, won every regular season game, and drew the attention of many college football programs. Bring recruited was an exhilarating experience for Whalen as he was being recruited by all sorts of schools, ranging from Division I schools such as Bowling Green and Ohio University to Division III powerhouse Mount Union. Case didn't come into the picture until late in the recruiting season.

In January 2006, with the application deadline approaching, offensive coordinator Dereck Slesh found Whalen at a combine in Pittsburgh and invited him to come to campus. Fortunately for the program, Whalen ultimately decided to come to Case. Now a senior, Whalen has lead the Spartans to back-to-back undefeated seasons and playoff appearances and is one of three returning finalists for the Gagliardi Award, Division III's version of the Heisman Trophy.

"Everything fell into place. I wanted someplace that I could play right away and get a great education and Case was the school that fit the mold most," said Whalen. "Plus, I had a bunch of people in my ear about how good of a school Case was and I wouldn't want to pass on the opportunity."

Prior to Whalen stepping on campus, Case did not have much success in football. He came to Case with average expectations, but thought that with the right pieces in place, the team could have some success.

"I figured with the right people here we could maybe bring it up a little bit, maybe go 7-3 or 8-2, but I never imagined going undefeated and making the playoffs two years in a row, being nationally ranked and becoming a Gagliardi finalist. I never imagined any of that."

Although Whalen started playing early in his freshman year, it wasn't all sunshine and kittens from there. He played well right away, but as he puts it, "Towards the middle of the season, I kind of started trailing off a little bit, not playing as well as I had. But then again I didn't really know much about college football at that point, I was just kind of thrown in the fire."
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In This Issue


  • A conversation with Major Jason Winterle
  • Budgeting 101 for college students
  • Can you name this place?
  • Case holds first annual Campus Security Fair
  • Case Western prepares to serve community
  • Have you heard about ACM?
  • Nursing "freshmen stimulus" provides support for incoming students, provokes unease
  • USG Briefs


  • Club sports & news
  • Fantasy Football
  • Gameday
  • Volleyball goes 3-1 at Wooster
  • Women's soccer takes two at JCU

Fun Page

  • Crossword Solution
  • Maze Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions


  • "You lie:" an old-fashioned outburst
  • Buenos Aires: most romantic city?
  • Editorial: Student groups deserve credit for programming
  • Learning to be responsible
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Letters to the Editor
  • State your case photos: What would you do with an Inamori Ethics Prize?


  • All's Well in CWRU MFA/Cleveland Playhouse production of overlooked Shakespeare classic
  • Dittrick Medical History Center reopens exhibit on history of contraception
  • Fashion for the frugal: look stylish on a budget
  • Hitting the Spot: The Antlers
  • Making breakfast work for you: getting a grip on granola
  • Nintendo DS game mixes strategy and traditional RPG elements for unique, timesaving gameplay
  • The Buzz
  • The Worst Case Scenario
  • Trail of Dead coming to Cleveland


  • Whalen becomes all-time passing leader in win over Rochester

Sex and Dating

  • Executing the first date


  • Stopped at nothing: Spartans shut out No. 21 Ohio Northern

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Andrea Wojtowicz
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