The 1997 NCAA Division III football season, part of the college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States, began in August 1997, and concluded with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, in December 1997 at Salem Football Stadium in Salem, Virginia. The Mount Union Purple Raiders won their third, and second consecutive, Division III championship by defeating the Lycoming Warriors, 61−12.
The Gagliardi Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in Division III football, was awarded to Bill Borchert, quarterback from Mount Union.
The 1997 NCAA Division III Football Championship playoffs were the 25th annual single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division III college football. The championship Stagg Bowl game was held at Salem Football Stadium in Salem, Virginia for the second time. As of 2014, Salem has remained the yearly host of the Stagg Bowl. Like the previous twelve tournaments, this year's bracket featured sixteen teams.