FROM PRESS RELEASE
(Omaha, NE) – University of Florida infielder Brandon McArthur, a student-athlete who helped his team to the NCAA Super Regional after overcoming a serious injury his freshman year, has been selected as the winner of the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the baseball division.
The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of coaches, media and fans, is presented annually to college baseball’s outstanding NCAA Division I senior student-athlete. The announcement and trophy presentation were made today by Lowe’s, an Official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, during the 2009 NCAA Men’s College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has grown into the nation’s premier tribute to college seniors. The award identifies personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete, with criteria including excellence in the classroom, character and community, as well as competition on the field.
“When my phone rang letting me know that I had won the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, I couldn’t even finish my meal because I was very excited,” McArthur said. “This is an honor that I would have never expected entering the season. Having so many people support me throughout my career at the University of Florida, this recognition will be a great source of pride for them too. Knowing what the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award represents, it is an honor for me to be the recipient, especially knowing that the other nine finalists were all deserving candidates who easily could have won.”
McArthur ended his senior year with a .338 batting average, 41 runs batted in, 25 runs scored and three home runs. He led the team with 14 doubles. Florida finished the season ranked ninth in the nation with a 42-22 overall record. The Gators were eliminated from the 2009 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship by Southern Mississippi in the Super Regional.
McArthur received his bachelor’s degree in criminology and is working towards a master’s degree in anthropology. He carries a 3.21 GPA and is a four-time selection to the SEC Academic Honor Roll. He is one of only six Gator student-athletes to have been named to the conference honor roll at least four times.
In the community, McArthur regularly donates his time to various local causes, including Special Olympics, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the March of Dimes. He recently received a President’s Volunteer Service Award, recognizing his contributions to the Gainesville community. In addition, he is a two-time selection to the SEC Baseball Community Service Team, highlighting one baseball player from each conference school for his superior service efforts.
“Brandon is a remarkable individual whose story will be passed down to future Gator teams,” said Florida head baseball coach Kevin O’Sullivan. “What he has accomplished in the classroom, on the field and in everyday life are all characteristics everyone can learn from. Brandon is one of the best people that I
have ever been around and is an inspiration to all of us.”
The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award also names an All-Senior All-America Team each year based on voting results of the finalists. Joining McArthur on the 2009 first team are Scott Bittle, University of Mississippi; Jason Haniger, Georgia Institute of Technology; Ben Orloff, University of California, Irvine and Adam Warren, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The second team includes Brian Cloud, Texas Tech University; Grant Escue, Bradley University; Nick Faunce, University of Kansas; Nate Freiman, Duke University; and Matt Nohelty, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
“The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has developed into a wonderful tribute for NCAA studentathletes,” said Bob Gfeller, senior vice president of marketing at Lowe’s. “On behalf of more than 228,000 associates at Lowe’s, we salute Brandon for a tremendous collegiate career at the University of Florida.
He has been a role model for many youngsters and has clearly taken his status as an NCAA student athlete
and leveraged it to benefit others.”
This marks the third year for the baseball division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. The University of Alabama’s Emeel Salem was the inaugural winner in 2007 and Rice University’s Cole St. Clair was the recipient in 2008.
Lowe’s expanded the Senior CLASS Award program in 2007 to include NCAA Division I baseball, softball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s ice hockey and men’s lacrosse to go along with the original sports of men’s and women’s basketball. With the addition of football (Bowl Subdivision) in 2008, the award is now presented in nine NCAA sports.