PHILADELPHIA – Virginia men’s lacrosse captain Ryan Conrad has been selected the 2019 Men’s Lacrosse Senior CLASS Award winner. He is the first Cavalier to win the award in men’s 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: community, classroom, 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 so shocked, surprised and happy about winning this coveted award,” said Conrad, whose late-game performance helped the Cavaliers to an overtime victory last weekend over Maryland to advance to tomorrow’s National Semifinals. “This is a prestigious award that my dad brought first to my attention in high school. The student-athletes who have won this award, or have been finalists for the Senior CLASS Award in the past, is impressive company. Just to be compared and put in the same company is truly an incredible honor and I am so thankful and happy to be selected as the 2019 recipient.”
A two-time team captain, Conrad (Sr., Timonium, Md.) earned first-team USILA and second-team Inside Lacrosse All-America honors and an All-ACC nod this season after bouncing back from an injury-shortened 2018 to produce 28 goals, 18 assists and 46 points and lead the nation’s offensive players with 83 ground balls. The only player in Division I with 11+ points and 70+ ground balls, Conrad also was named the ACC Tournament MVP this season and to the USILA National Team of the Week on May 7. Missing all but five games of the 2018 season with a torn ACL, Conrad earned third-team USILA All-America honors in 2017 along with a spot on the All-ACC team after leading UVA with 63 ground balls—the most in the nation by a non-defensive player or faceoff specialist.
“The Senior CLASS Award has been earned by the finest of young people in the sport of lacrosse, and Ryan Conrad continues this tradition,” said Head Coach Lars Tiffany, the 2019 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year. “The University of Virginia promotes a collaborative academic and service experience, with the proliferation of others-focused mindset and action amongst its students. Ryan is the quintessential example of what Virginia fosters as he has excelled in all arenas here in Charlottesville: the classroom, the community and the competitive field. The three years spent with him will not be forgotten by me or my staff.”
As committed to excellence as Conrad is on the field, he maintains the same standard when other notable areas including academics, community involvement and personal character. During his time in Charlottesville, Conrad earned a spot in UVA’s prestigious McIntire School of Commerce and also served as vice president of Student-Athletes Committed to Honor (SACH) as a second- and third-year student and as co-president this year.
“Being a student-athlete at Virginia has done everything for my development,” said Conrad, who was selected No. 2 overall in the 2019 PLL Draft by the Atlas LC and No. 5 overall in the 2019 MLL Draft by the now-defunct Charlotte Hounds. “The skills I have learned through the McIntire School and from being a student-athlete at UVA has been geared toward time management, how to work hard and fighting through adversity. There is so much to be involved in at the University of Virginia and being a part of the UVA culture has prepared me for my next step in my life as I start a career in New York. I am so happy I chose UVA.”
When it comes to the community, Conrad is consistently involved with Virginia’s community outreach efforts, including the Special Olympics 10k run and the Will Barrow (’08) Memorial Flag Football Tournament, the largest fundraiser for the University of Virginia Suicide Hotline. He spearheaded the Salvation Army service in December, helped run a clothing drive for the Salvation Army and started a relationship with Martha Jefferson House to begin a program that pairs elderly residents with UVA student-athletes. He also organized Salvation Army bell-ringing for UVA lacrosse and SACHLS, and as a fraternity member has also served as a Student Athlete Mentor (SAM) to help prevent substance abuse in the athletics department.
“Something our senior lacrosse class has been focusing on specifically is leaving the place [UVA men’s lacrosse program] better than how we found it,” said Conrad, who also assisted with the annual Will Barrow Flag Football Tournament to raise funds for the Madison House suicide hotline and to generate college scholarship money for Harlem Lacrosse students. “That is something we can truly say we did as a class. To have just that feat is incredible enough, but to extend and be able to return Virginia to Championship Weekend—and in terms of that success on the field, and also off it with the culture of the program—is something that myself and our class is proud of.”
“Ryan Conrad is an impressive young man who has fought through adversity and displayed excellence in every aspect of a Division I student-athlete,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “What he has done on the field is impressive, but he’s also embraced his roles as a student, role model and member of the community, and he has made a positive impact in each facet. It’s our pleasure to recognize him with this year’s Senior CLASS Award, and we offer our sincere congratulations to Ryan, his team and to the University of Virginia.”