AUSTIN, Texas - Webb City, Mo.-native Michael Handley added a exclamation point to his four-year career in purple and gold on Monday when the defender landed on the Capital One Academic All-America Second Team for the College Division. The award is sponsored by Capital One in conjunction with CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).
Handley has been a force on Ashford's back line for all four years of his storied career. He appeared in 78 matches while starting 70 for the AU defense. In that time, Handley netted seven goals, including one game-winner, and dished out six assists. The senior scored three goals during the 2011 campaign including a goal in the Midwest Collegiate Conference Men's Soccer Championship game against Mount Mercy.
Handley was twice named to the MCC Honorable Mention team for his play on the pitch and is a three-time member of the MCC All-Academic team.
Michael is also the only player from the MCC to land among the three teams which make up the College Division of the Capital One Academic All-America squads.
"I am very proud of Michael and think this is a huge honor for him and our program," said Head Men's Soccer Coach Richard Markham. "Michael has been instrumental in the success of Ashford University over his four years as a starter and team leader. In his four years he has managed to be honored as an all-conference player as well as a NAIA Academic All-American, and this is award is a fantastic way to finish his career. Michael is a true example of what it means to be a student athlete."
"Michael is very deserving of this recognition," said AU Director of Athletics Meg Schebler. "He personifies the term ‘student-athlete,' and we are very proud of his accomplishments in the classroom and on the soccer field."
To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in NCAA divisions I, II, III and NAIA.
Michael will graduate from Ashford with a degree in biology.