UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Nittany Lion wrestling national champion Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) has been named as the 2014-15 Capital One Division I Academic All-America of the Year, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Brown is the second Penn State student-athlete to be selected as an Academic All-America® of the Year and joins former Nittany Lion wrestler, Dr. Jim Martin, who received the honor in 1988-89. Dr. Martin won a national title in 1988 and was a four-time All-American at Penn State
A criminology and international politics major with a 3.97 G.P.A., Brown is a two-time first-team Capital One Academic All-America® selection, returning to the top squad after previously earning the honor in 2013. A native of West Valley City, Utah, Brown earned both the NCAA and Big Ten Conference Postgraduate Scholarships and won the NCAA title at 174 pounds while helping Penn State to a sixth-place finish at this year's NCAA Championships.
"It is quite the honor to be named Capital One Division I Academic All-America® of the Year. In addition to the support of my loving family, this past year I enjoyed the support of my teammates and coaches, Penn State Army ROTC, The School of International Affairs and the Penn State wrestling community," said Brown.
"What makes Penn State special is that this is a place where professors, coaches, and administrators have made succeeding in the classroom the top priority and we as student-athletes are given every opportunity to succeed. What a privilege it has been to wrestle and study at Penn State. This award shows that as we continually give our best effort, we can accomplish great things. It also shows that as we focus on effort and attitude, like Coach Cael Sanderson preaches, we will have success."
A three-time All-America selection, Brown posted a 29-3 record this season with eight pins, eight major decisions and one tech fall. He departs Penn State with a 118-16 career record, capped by his first NCAA individual title in 2015. Brown also ranks 12th in Nittany Lion history for career wins, and 11th all-time with 30 pins.
In addition, Brown took home the 2013 NCAA Elite 89 Award and has garnered multiple National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) first team All-Academic citations, as well as three first-team Academic All-Big Ten Team accolades. He was the recipient of Penn State's McCoy Award. The honor comes shortly after being named a first team Academic All-American and the 2015 Men's At-Large Academic All-American of the Year (the honor that put Brown on the ballot for this award).
Brown was also honored as Penn State's overall Male Athlete of the Year. He was one of four Nittany Lion wrestlers to earn first team NWCA National All-Academic laurels as well (the third time he has been honored as such). He became Penn State's 24th three-time All-American in St. Louis this past March. Brown leaves Penn State 12th all-time in wins (118) and 11th all-time in pins (30).
"Matt Brown is an outstanding example of what a student-athlete is," said Penn State head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson. "He epitomizes hard work, dedication, responsibility and the 'One Team' attitude we strive for here at Penn State," said Penn State head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson.
"To be named the Capital One Division I Academic All-America® of the Year is truly an honor for any student-athlete and Matt Brown lives every day to the high standards and ideals the award recognizes. The entire Penn State family is happy for Matt and proud of his accomplishments. His leadership will be missed but the example he has set will be a constant reminder to all of our wrestlers," continued Sanderson.
2014-15 CAPITAL ONE SPORT-BY-SPORT DIVISION I ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA® OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERSAndy Bevin, West Virginia M. Soccer Sr. Napier, New Zealand Management information systems, 3.93# Matt Brown, Penn State M. At-Large Sr. West Valley City, Utah Criminology / international studies, 3.97Rebecca Esselstein,Air Force W. TF/XC Sr. Dayton, Ohio Astronautical engineering, 3.98Missy Franklin, California W. At-Large Sr. Centennial, Colo. Psychology, 3.58Sam Koenig, Milwaukee Baseball So. Prairie du Sac, Wis. Education, 3.86Ashley Luke, Western Illinois W. Basketball Gr. Oak Creek, Wis. Journalism & political science, 4.00 B.A.Haylie McCleney, Alabama Softball Jr. Morris, Ala. Human perf. exercise science, 4.00Matt Townsend, Yale M. Basketball Sr. Chappaqua, N.Y. Molecular, cellular, dev. biology, 3.98Krista Vansant, Washington Volleyball Sr. Redlands, Wash. Sociology, 3.30Stephanie Verdoia, Seattle W. Soccer Sr. Salt Lake City, Utah Political science, 3.96John Welk, Nebraska M. TF/XC Sr. Bismarck, N.D. Nutrition science, 3.99Zach Zenner, S. Dakota State Football Sr. Eagan, Minn. Biology / pre-medicine, 3.86
# 2015 Capital One Academic All-America of the Year