May 24, 2013
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Brendan Buckley is one of the most decorated Army lacrosse defensemen in program history and on Friday morning, he added one of the most prestigious awards in the nation to his sparkling resume. In an announcement by award officials, Buckley was named the 2013 Senior CLASS Award winner in NCAA Division I lacrosse.
Buckley is the second Army lacrosse player to capture the award, joining 2010 winner Andrew Maisano. He is also the second cadet-athlete to garner the recognition during the 2012-13 academic year as hockey senior Cheyne Rocha took home the hardware in April. Army is the only institution to produce multiple Senior CLASS Award winners in 2012-13.
The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men's lacrosse coaches, national lacrosse media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I lacrosse. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, community, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
"I am humbled and honored to accept this year's Senior CLASS Award," Buckley said. "I considered it a huge honor to be included amongst the finalists, all of whom are tremendous lacrosse players and could have easily won as well. This award is not about me; it's about the amazing coaches and teammates I've had the pleasure of playing for and with during my time here at West Point.
"I'd also like to thank the fans, head coaches and media members for supporting me over the last couple of months. We have some of the best fans in the country and their support, along with my teammates' votes, did not go unnoticed. This is truly a thrill and something I will cherish for a very long time."
Buckley is a first team academic All-American and is ranked in the top 15 of his class of more than 1,000 cadets. The Massapequa, N.Y., native has a 3.987 grade point average and will enter the Field Artillery branch of the U.S. Army after graduating with a degree in engineering management. He has been awarded the Distinguished Cadet Award and the Superintendent's Award for Excellence based on his overall efforts in academics, military science, military development and physical fitness. In the community, Buckley started a cadet mentorship program that has included trips to a local elementary school for reading and playing sports with the students.
"I could not be more excited for Brendan," said Army head coach Joe Alberici. "He has worked so hard and could not be more deserving of such a tremendous honor. He exemplifies everything this award stands for to the fullest extent. I believe he is one of the finest lacrosse players in America, but more importantly, he is an unbelievable person and leader."
Buckley is a three-year starter and led Army with 19 caused turnovers this season. The lockdown defender was one of two Army players taken in the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft and has been a first team All-Patriot League choice twice. On Tuesday, he added USILA Scholar All-America honors to his growing list of accomplishments.
"Brendan has been a competitor and winner throughout his college career, but his most important contributions will come after he gets his degree when he brings those same skills to the United States military," said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. "He's an outstanding example of what a Senior CLASS Award winner does during and after college."
For more information on all the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
Jesse Bernhardt, Maryland
Brendan Buckley, Army
Clay Del Prince, Brown
Mike Huffner, Bucknell
Jason Noble, Cornell
Peter Baum, Colgate
Jason Gonos, Harvard
Peter Johnson, Yale
Matt Miller, Notre Dame
Scott Ratliff, Loyola (Maryland)