NOTE: The following is a press release issued today by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) naming Galen Rupp as the NCAA Division I Academic All-American of the Year. It is a monumental achievement for the University of Oregon and the Pacific-10 Conference. Of the tens of thousands of student-athletes from every men’s and women’s Division I sport sanctioned by the NCAA, Rupp was selected as the best of the best. It is essentially the academic Heisman, and coincidentally, Rupp beat out a Heisman winner, Tim Tebow of Florida, to earn the award, among several other impressive nominees. Rupp is the first track and field athlete to win the award and only the second in Pac-10 history. Stanford's Tommy Vardell in 1992 (football) was the conference's other Academic All-American of the Year selection. He joins an exclusive list that includes Peyton Manning, Rebecca Lobo, Emeka Okafor and Chad Pennington. The University of Oregon extends a hearty and well-deserved congratulations to Galen. 

TOWSON, Md. — Senior distance runner Galen Rupp of the University of Oregon and senior quarterback Greg Micheli of Mount Union College’s NCAA Division III championship football team have been selected as the 2008-09 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americas of the Year, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

A Business Administration major with a 3.89 G.P.A., Rupp was selected as the Academic All-America® of the Year award for the University Division. He is the first Track and Cross Country athlete to be named as the Academic All-America® of the Year in the University Division since the inception of the award in 1988.

Micheli, who has a double major of Physics and Mathematics and a 3.84 G.P.A., is the fifth College Division football player to be named as the Academic All-America® of the Year.
CoSIDA and ESPN The Magazine combine to sponsor 24 Academic All-America programs on the University (NCAA Div. I) and College (NCAA Div. II, III, NAIA, Junior College) levels. For the University Division and the College Division, an Academic All-America® of the Year is selected.

Rupp was chosen from a ballot which included 12 University Division candidates who had an average G.P.A. of 3.78. Micheli competed against 11 other College Division candidates. The average G.P.A. of the 12 College Division candidates was a remarkable 3.88.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Rupp won six NCAA championships during the 2008-09 academic year. In November, he won the NCAA Division I individual cross country title as he led Oregon to the national team championship. He became the third Oregon runner to win the NCAA cross country individual championship, joining legends Steve Prefontaine and Alberto Salazar.

At the NCAA Indoor Track Championship Meet, Rupp won the Indoor 3,000-meter run and the Indoor 5,000-meter run. In addition, he ran the anchor leg on the Ducks’ NCAA champion distance medley relay team. Led by Rupp, Oregon won its first NCAA Indoor Track national championship.

In June, Rupp won a pair of championships at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track Meet. By winning the national titles in the Outdoor 5,000-meter run and the Outdoor 10,000-meter run, he became the first student-athlete in nine years to win both NCAA titles in the same year. In addition, he helped Oregon tie for second place at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, the Ducks’ best finish in 25 years.

The first student-athlete in NCAA history to win six distance races at the national championships in the same year, Rupp set a University of Oregon record by earning 14 All-American honors in his collegiate career. Named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® Track and Cross Country first team three times, he set the United States record in the Indoor 5,000-meter run on February 13 with a time of 13:18.12.

A member of the United States Olympic team in 2008, he competed in the 10K run. As a senior, he won the Pacific-10 Conference cross country title as well as the Pac-10 championship in the Outdoor 10,000-meter run. At the USA Track and Field Championships in late June, Rupp won the USA 10K championship with a time of 27:52.53, earning a trip to Berlin for the IAAF World Championships as a member of Team USA.

“It is a great honor to receive the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® of the Year award,” said Rupp. “The University of Oregon has provided me with a fantastic environment to succeed in the classroom and on the track.

“Since my time in elementary school, my parents have always stressed the importance of my education,” he added. “They always made sure my schoolwork was done before I was allowed to play sports. I believe that it was the work ethic and value in education that they instilled in me that has guided me throughout my time at the University of Oregon. It has been my privilege to have represented the University of Oregon as a student-athlete and I’m extremely grateful to ESPN The Magazine and CoSIDA for choosing me as the Academic All-America® of the Year.”

Rupp also said, “I have always taken great pride in my schoolwork and challenged myself as much as possible throughout my academic career. Whether it is on the track or in the classroom, I always strive to do my best.”

The winner of the Gagliardi Trophy as the nation’s top NCAA Division III football player, Micheli led Mount Union to a 15-0 record and the NCAA Division III national championship. The top-rated passer in NCAA Division III, he set an NCAA record with his 209.13 passing efficiency rating. As a senior, he completed 240 of 320 passes for a school record 3,743 yards and a .750 completion percentage. While throwing 36 touchdown passes, he was intercepted only twice.

Named as the Most Outstanding Player in the 2008 Stagg Bowl, he was also the Raiders’ second-leading rusher as a senior. He ran for 515 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry. He also scored four touchdowns. In the Stagg Bowl, he completed 12 of 19 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns to lead Mount Union to a 31-26 win over Wisconsin-Whitewater. He was also named as the Most Outstanding Player at the 2006 Stagg Bowl when he came off the bench to lead the Raiders to a 35-16 win over Wisconsin-Whitewater. Playing the final three quarters of the game, he completed 18 of 22 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 42 yards on nine carries and scored on a 12-yard run.

A native of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, Micheli finished his career by completing 578 passes in 780 attempts for a .741 percentage. He passed for 8,479 yards in his career with 81 touchdown passes and only nine interceptions. In addition, he rushed for 1,476 yards in his career and scored 17 touchdowns. In his two seasons as the Raiders’ starting quarterback, he compiled a 29-1 record with the only loss coming in the 2007 national championship game.
In January, he was the winner of an NCAA Top VIII Award and he was the only Division III athlete to receive the award. Named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® College Division Football first team as a junior and senior, he was also the winner of the Clyde Lamb Award as the top male scholar-athlete in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Chosen as the Outstanding Male Senior Athlete at Mount Union College, he is also a member of the Society of Physics Students.

“I am truly honored and blessed to not only receive this award but to represent Mount Union College,” said Micheli. “I have been fortunate to have a great college experience with many great teammates and coaches. This award is a reflection of that.”

The Academic All-America® of the Year award, which began in 1987-88, is presented to the most outstanding student-athlete of the year and is chosen from the student-athletes who have been awarded Team Member of the Year honors. From over 360,000 student-athletes in the nation, just 816 are selected as Academic All-America® Team members each year, 24 are selected as Team Members of the Year and two are named Academic All-America® of the Year.

"Every year, there are more than 12,000 outstanding Scholar-Athletes nominated for Academic All-America® recognition in 24 programs,” said Bentley University’s Dick Lipe, the chairman of the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Committee. “The Academic All-America® of the Year awards are the epitome of what it means to be a successful Scholar-Athlete. It is an incredible honor to be selected as the best of the best and we congratulate Galen and Greg on their remarkable awards.”

Former recipients of Academic All-America® of the Year honors include Rebecca Lobo (1994-95), Peyton Manning (1997-98), Chad Pennington (1999-00), Stacey Dales-Schuman (2001-02) and Emeka Okafor (2003-04). A complete list of the previous recipients of the AAA of the Year award follows.

ESPN The Magazine, winner of the 2006 and 2003 National Magazine Award for General Excellence, is a provocative and innovative sports publication. Full of insight, analysis, impact and wit, the oversized bi-weekly with a circulation of 1.9 million looks ahead to give fans a unique perspective on the world of sports.   For more information about the Academic All-America® program, please visit www.cosida.com
 
ESPN THE MAGAZINE ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA OF THE YEAR RECIPIENTS
2008-09
Galen Rupp, Oregon (Men’s Track/Cross Country)
Greg Micheli, Mount Union (Football)
 
2007-08
Sarah Pavan, Nebraska (Volleyball)
Troy Ruths, Washington of Mo. (Men’s Basketball)
 
2006-07
Sarah Pavan, Nebraska (Volleyball)
Jamie Wolf, Clarion (At-Large)

2005-06
Christine Sinclair, Portland (Soccer)
Josh Lamberson, Northwest Missouri St.  (Football)

2004-05
Alex Smith, Utah (Football)
Carli Dale, Juniata (Volleyball)

2003-04
Emeka Okafor, Connecticut (Basketball)
Kristen Shields, Whitworth (Track & Field)

2002-03
Theresa Kulikowski, Utah (Gymnastics)
Ashley Rowatt, Kenyon (Swimming)

2001-02
Stacey Dales-Schuman, Oklahoma (Basketball)
T.J. Hess, Widener (Football)

2000-01
Ruth Riley, Notre Dame (Basketball)
Emily Bloss, Emporia State (Basketball)

1999-00
Chad Pennington, Marshall (Football)
Korey Coon, Illinois Wesleyan (Basketball)
 
1998-99
Matt Stinchcomb, Georgia (Football)
Kelly Schade, Simpson (Softball)

1997-98
Peyton Manning, Tennessee (Football)
Brad Gray, MIT (Football)

1996-97
Danny Wuerffel, Florida (Football)
Julie Roe, Millikin (Basketball)

1995-96
Todd Fuller, North Carolina St. (Basketball)
Chris Palmer, St. John's (Minn.) (Football)

1994-95
Rebecca Lobo, Connecticut (Basketball)
(tie) Rob Zatechka, Nebraska (Football)

1993-94
*Carl Erikson, Oberlin (Tennis)

1992-93
*Jim Hansen, Colorado (Football)

1991-92
*Tommy Vardell, Stanford (Football)

1990-91
*Al Parker, Tennis (Georgia)

1989-90
*Alec Kessler,  Georgia (Basketball)

1988-89
*James Martin, Penn St. (Wrestling)

1987-88
*Michael Smith, Brigham Young (Basketball)

* From 1988-1995 only one winner was chosen per year. Beginning in 1996 the format was changed to select one winner per year in each division (college and university).

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