LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- In exclusive voting by the senior woman administrators of the conference, Madison Ross of Austin College has been named the 2016 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Man of the Year.
The SCAC Man of the Year award recognizes senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. The inaugural SCAC Man of the Year award was presented in 2013.
An outstanding running back for the ‘Roos football team, Ross also excelled in the classroom as the four-time SCAC Academic Honor Roll recipient graduated Summa Cum Laude in May with a 3.93 GPA in Business Administration. In addition, he was a Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society member and made the Austin College Deans List each of his eight semesters in Sherman.
Off the field, Ross spent numerous hours volunteering in the community. His most rewarding activity occurred at a local elementary school that caters to educating children with disabilities.
“That was the most humbling experience of my collegiate career,” said Ross. “To see children who in addition to never getting to play or run like me also struggle with daily activities was very eye-opening. However, despite their disabilities, they always had these big smiles on their faces. I went away from that experience with a different outlook on life. No matter how hard things get, there is always something I can be grateful for.”
On the gridiron, Ross, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, earned First Team All-SCAC honors for the second straight season in 2015 after leading the conference with 1,014 rushing yards, making him the first 'Roo in 15 years to surpass the 1,000 rushing yard plateau. He also led the SCAC with 11 rushing touchdowns, and was twice named the SCAC Player-of-the-Week. He also earned honorable mention All-SCAC accolades this year as a punt returner, and was previously named the SCAC Newcomer-of-the-Year as a freshman in 2012. Following both his junior and senior seasons, Ross was honored as Austin College's Pete Cawthon Award winner, given annually to the top male student-athlete among all 'Roo athletics teams.
Most recently, Ross was named First Team CoSIDA Academic All-America for the second straight year, the first time any Austin College student-athlete has earned that honor twice.
Ross readily admits that when he first entered college, he was only concerned about football and himself.
“But as I progressed, I realized that life is much more fulfilling when you are meeting the needs of those around you,” said Ross. “Learning to be selfless, from staying up late tutoring teammates to volunteering for various projects, ended up helping me develop as a leader.”
Ross, who is the school’s first SCAC MOTY recipient, was one of five outstanding nominees considered by the SCAC Man of the Year Committee. The other candidates were:
- Taylor Piske, cross country/track & field, Trinity University
- Will Cates, baseball, Southwestern University
- James Lonergan, basketball, Colorado College
- Alejandro Gutierrez, baseball, Texas Lutheran University
To read about past winners of the SCAC Man-of-the-Year award, click here.
Year-by-year SCAC Man of the Year Honorees:
2016 - Madison Ross, football, Austin College
2015 – Aaron Skinner, tennis, Trinity University
2014 – Kaleb Roush, swimming, Colorado College
2013 – Nick Lammers, soccer, Colorado College