OVERLAND PARK, Kansas – Pitcher Tyler Wilson of the University of Virginia has been selected as the 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award winner in baseball. The announcement and trophy presentation were made today in Omaha by Lowe’s, an official corporate partner of the NCAA®, during the College World Series®.
The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I head coaches, national media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I baseball. 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 – community, classroom, character and competition.
“As the recipient of the 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in baseball, I feel extremely privileged, honored and blessed. At the University of Virginia, we acknowledge the creed ‘The Pursuit of Excellence,’ a concept I have always felt is truly epitomized by the categories of this award. It is every student-athlete’s mission to strive for excellence in the classroom, surrounding community, personal character and athletic competition,” Wilson said.
“I am honored to be the selected recipient of this award that quintessentially represents what every athlete around the United States contributes to his or her respective university. After finishing my four years here, I want to thank my coaches for their guidance and endless spirit, my friends for their unwavering support and my family for their genuine love. I couldn’t have achieved any of this without the dedication and perseverance of those close to me. Above all else, each opportunity was placed in front of me by the hands of God, making it most important to give all thanks and praise back to Him.”
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s 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.
Wilson graduated from Virginia in May with a degree in biology. He was a member of the Dean’s List, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Phi Eta Sigma honor society. After his baseball career is finished, Wilson plans to enter medical school, where he will study to become an orthopedic surgeon. Wilson is a leader in Athletes in Action, running Bible study and serving in outreach programs. He works with others through college and higher education ministry and has served as a youth coach for six years in addition to volunteering for Special Olympics and the Angel Tree program.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for Tyler. He chose to come back to UVa for his senior year to complete his degree and stay with his teammates, and he now has his diploma and is playing in the College World Series once again,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Tyler epitomizes the fundamentals of this award. He is a tremendous student and teammate, is active in the community and has been extremely loyal to the University and our baseball program. He is an incredible leader for the players in our program as well as the students at our University. I can’t think of a more deserving recipient than Tyler Wilson.”
Wilson finished his career in the Cavaliers’ top 10 list for career victories and strikeouts. His sub-3.00 earned run average this season helped Virginia claim the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. He was a 10th round selection by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.
“Tyler has carefully mapped out his future after his baseball career is finished and that’s a tribute to his dedication to both baseball and his academic pursuits,” said David Geren, Lowe’s vice president of marketing. “We salute Tyler for his success on the field and for his leadership on campus and in the classroom.”
For more information on all the finalists, visit www.seniorCLASSaward.com.