CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Junior lacrosse player Brendan Buckley (Massapequa, N.Y.) has been named the 2011-12 Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, it was announced Thursday afternoon. This honor comes on the heels of Buckley being named a first team Capital One Academic All-America selection and the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year earlier this spring.
“This is such a well-deserving honor for Brendan Buckley,” said Army head lacrosse coach Joe Alberici. “It seems I’ve been saying that a lot this spring, but I truly mean it. He is one of the brightest and hardest working young men we have in this program. Brendan’s development both on the field and in the classroom over the last three years has been simply remarkable. His commitment to our program and this institution is indelible. I am very much looking forward to what next year brings as well.”
Buckley emerged as Army’s top close defenseman during his junior campaign. A first team All-Patriot League selection, he led the Patriot League and finished the season ranked eighth in the nation averaging 2.0 caused turnovers per game. One of his brightest single-game efforts of the year came April 7, when he logged a career-high five caused turnovers in the Black Knights’ thrilling 6-5 double-overtime victory at nationally ranked Bucknell in front of a national television audience on CBS Sports Network. He was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week the following Monday.
Buckley started all 15 of Army’s games this season and marked the opposition’s most prolific scorer in each contest. His laundry list of some of the nation’s best individual matchups included Cornell’s Rob Pannell, the 2011 Enners Award winner, along with 2012 Tewaaraton Award winner Peter Baum of Colgate and Bucknell’s Billy Eisenreich during league play.
Buckley’s performance in the classroom has been just as impressive. The Massapequa, N.Y., native owns a 3.992 cumulative grade-point average majoring in Engineering Management. A two-time member of the Academic All-League team, Buckley earned his first placement on the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America first team in at-large sports this spring. Currently ranked 16th in the West Point Class of 2013, Buckley has been a member of the Dean’s List in all six of his semesters, and has been recognized by the academy with its Distinguished Cadet Award and its Superintendent’s Award for Excellence. Moreover, he won the Dean’s Pentathlete Award, which is presented to a very small number of cadets who achieve at least an A-minus grade in all courses in academic, military science, military development and physical education.
In addition to his exceptional academic and athletic performances, Buckley also serves his fellow cadets in a variety of ways. He served as a Battalion Sergeant Major last fall, which is the highest position a junior cadet can achieve. As his company’s academic non-commissioned officer, he monitors and mentors cadets who are struggling academically, and he assists with organizing and facilitating measures to aid those in academic need. Under the supervision of the Academic Officer, Buckley assists with the coordination of academic matters within his company, including running study groups and identifying tutors among the group of 120 cadets.
Buckley becomes the third Black Knight named to the overall Male Scholar-Athlete award in four years and the fifth overall, tying Navy for the most in league history. Bucknell and Colgate have each had four student-athletes named to the overall men’s honor. Buckley is also the second men’s lacrosse student-athlete from Army to capture the overall Scholar-Athlete honor in the last three years, following in the footsteps of Andrew Maisano ’10.
The winner of each sport’s Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is put in the running towards the Patriot League Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors, with the League’s sports information directors selecting one male and one female for the award. Others in contention for the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award were Lafayette senior Ryan Willen (men’s basketball), Lehigh senior Evans Kosgei (cross country), Bucknell senior Tim Bolte (football), American senior Matt Makowski (soccer), Bucknell junior Christian Treat (swimming and diving), Bucknell junior J.J. Szmadzinski (golf), Lehigh junior Andrew Krentz (tennis), Navy senior Cody Rome (indoor track and field), Army senior Thomas Wagner (outdoor track and field) and Army senior Zach Price (baseball). All class years are from the 2011-12 academic year.
To be eligible for the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade-point average and be a starter or key player in his/her sport. Freshmen are not eligible for this honor.