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IMG Academy soccer program Alum Zak Boggs Earns BIG EAST's Highest Academic Honor

TAMPA – Zak Boggs, a junior forward on the University of South Florida men’s soccer team, has been named the 2008-09 BIG EAST Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Boggs is the first student-athlete in USF history to receive the honor, which is given annually to the top academic performer across all male sports in the BIG EAST Conference.  The West Virginia native will receive a $4,000 scholarship toward postgraduate or professional studies.

“Amazing accomplishment,” said Justin Miller, Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development and Academics. “Zak really embodies what it means to be a USF Student-Athlete. He has demonstrated the ability to succeed at an extremely high level in everything he takes on. Zak is very well-deserving of this recognition, as it speaks to his commitment to excellence and his outstanding work ethic.”

Miller, who oversees the academic pursuits of the men’s soccer team, added, “As he continues in his graduate coursework, Coach Kiefer, his teammates and our entire department, expect nothing but great things from him in the future.” 

Boggs was the second-leading scorer on a USF squad that captured its first BIG EAST Championship and reached the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship. He had five goals and five assists for 15 points and finished the year with four game-winning goals. He scored both USF goals in the Bulls’ 2-1 NCAA tournament win against Harvard last season and assisted on the tying goal in the 1-1 draw against UNC-Greensboro in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Boggs was an All-BIG EAST Third Team selection in 2008 and was chosen to the all-tournament team after the 2008 BIG EAST Championship.

“Zak’s work rate on and off the field has sparked our entire program to believe they can work harder and do more,” said USF head coach George Kiefer.  “I’m very happy to see the Big East recognize him for with such a prestigious award as he is well deserving of it!”

Boggs was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team selection in 2008 on the strength of a 4.00 grade-point average as a biomedical sciences major. He has been accepted to USF’s graduate programs in economics and marketing and has been recruited to the school’s MBA program as the first exception to a standard two-year work experience requirement.

In addition to his academic work, Boggs serves as an academic tutor at USF and volunteers at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum. He also holds a second degree black belt in taekwondo and is a member of the National Eagle Scout Association and the USA Jump Rope Association.

The BIG EAST  Scholar-Athlete Awards were established to recognize student-athletes who have achieved success in the classroom and on the field.  partners since 1999.

BIG EAST Male Scholar-Athletes Of The Year
2009 Zak Boggs, USF, Soccer
2008 Jeremy Stultz, Pittsburgh, Swimming & Diving
2007 Drew Eckman, Villanova, Track & Field
2006 Trevor O’Grady, Rutgers, Track & Field
2005 Guy Melamed, Boston College, Soccer
2004 Chris Wingert, St. John’s, Soccer
2003 Casey Schmidt, Boston College, Soccer
2002 Gregory Strohmann, Seton Hall, Soccer
2001 Chris Hamblin, Boston College, Soccer
2000 Scott VanEpps, Pittsburgh, Swimming & Diving
1999 Angelo Ciminiello, Providence, Baseball
1998 Errol Williams, Notre Dame, Track & Field
1997 Christian Fogarazzo, St. John’s, Track & Field
1996 Gil Kovalski, Miami, Tennis
1995 Kevin Lyles, Seton Hall, Track & Field
1994 Sebastien Goulet, Swimming, Syracuse
1993 Hector Zamora, Seton Hall, Soccer
1992 Steve Holman, Georgetown, Track & Field
1991 David Honor, St. John’s, Baseball
1990 Pat O’Kelly, Seton Hall, Soccer
1989 Chris Craft, Villanova, Swimming & Diving
1988 Dave Echeverria, Villanova, Swimming & Diving
1987 Harold Jensen, Villanova, Basketball
1986 John Prior, Connecticut, Track & Field
1985 Joey David, Pittsburgh, Basketball

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