GLIAC – The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) announced the recipients of the Winter 2020-21 GLIAC Commissioner’s Awards on Wednesday (July 21). The awards are presented after the Fall, Winter, and Spring athletic seasons to six female and six male student-athletes that excel both in the classroom and on the fields of play. All grade-point averages are based on a 4.0 scale.
The six female student-athletes recipients are: Rachel Miller (AU), Karlee Pireu (AU), Allyson Faulkner (FSU), Ellie Kimes (GVSU), Cassidy Trotter (MTU), Libby Caird (SVSU)
The six male honorees are: Owen White (MTU), Trevor Bassitt (AU), Isaiah Schafer (DU), Franz Mueller (WSU), Jack Ammerman (NU), John Groendyk (GVSU)
Miller, the AU athletic department’s nominee for the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year, graduated with a 3.96 cumulative GPA as a Public Relations and Strategic Communications major. She was a two-time D-II All-American as a senior (400-meter dash indoors, 400 hurdles outdoors). Miller is a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, and is on the Academic All-America ballot.
A marketing major with a 3.99 undergrad GPA and a 4.00 post-grad GPA as a Marketing major, Pireu was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection in 2020-21. As the Eagles’ lone senior last season, she averaged 18.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, shooting 54.4 percent from the field and 86.0 percent from the free-throw line, and adding a team-high 50 steals. Her 1,215 career points are 16th on AU’s all-time scoring list.
Ferris State University's Allyson Faulkner ranked among FSU's top women's track and field standouts this past year and has been highly-active in a number of campus organizations, including serving as the Student Government President for two terms. The three-time GLIAC All-Academic Team honoree has earned the GLIAC Commissioner's Award honor for the second-straight year and is a three-time D2 Athletic Directors Association Academic Achievement Award recipient. A regular in the FSU lineup, she's held several major leadership roles on campus such as being the Vice President of the Ferris Forensics Team and treasurer of the Student Alumni Gold Club along with President of the Panhellenic Council. She was also previously nominated for the Bulldogs' prestigious Willie Bouyer Leadership Award and also has received a Newman Civic Fellowship for demonstrating an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. The political science major has a near-perfect grade point average and has competed in a multitude of different events on the track in her collegiate career to date.
Kimes has earned her second consecutive GLIAC Commissioner’s Award. The senior pole vaulter helped lead the Laker women to an indoor NCAA National Championship. Kimes earned USTFCCCA first team All-American honors both in the indoor and outdoor seasons. A speech pathology major with a 3.84 GPA, Kimes won the Indoor National Championship with a height a 4.15m in pole vault. Kimes earned a second-place finish at the Outdoor National Championships after clearing a height of 4.14m. Throughout her career, Kimes has earned six USTFCCCA All-American honors.
Libby Caird concluded her 2020-21 season with an impressive run at the GLIAC Championships and the NCAA National Meet. Caird finished second in the 1-meter and third in the 3-meter at the GLIAC Championships. Earned two All-American honorable mentions at the NCAA DII Championships with a ninth-place finish in the 1-meter and 12th in the 3-meter. She is the SVSU record holder in the 1- and 3-meter diving events and is a fourth-time NCAA All-American. Last week, Carid was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.
White earns the GLIAC Commissioner's Award for the first time after being recognized as one of the nation's top student-athletes for his combined performances on the court and in the classroom. His accolades this season include NABC All-American, First Team All-Midwest District, GLIAC men's basketball player of the year, GLIAC first-team all-conference, All-GLIAC all-defensive team, CoSIDA Academic All-America third team, CoSIDA Academic All-District, and Ken Hamar Team Most Valuable Player. White started 21 games in 2020-21 and helped the Huskies to the longest postseason run in school history. He also surpassed 1,000 career points on March 5 and led the conference with 21.2 points per game. White is majoring in Engineering and is from Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
Bassitt has a 4.00 GPA in post-graduate work following a 3.56 as a Sport Management major. In 2020-21, indoors and outdoors combined, he won four NCAA Division II national titles, helped the Eagle men to an indoor national championship, won eight GLIAC titles, was the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national men’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, and was the GLIAC Track Athlete of the Year twice. Bassitt is a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, and is on the Academic All-America ballot.
Isaiah Schafer has excelled in the classroom and in throws on the track and field team during 2020-21. He was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team for the first time and will appear on the national ballot. Schafer was a two-time NCAA Outdoor All-America honoree as he placed fifth in the shot put and ninth in the discus. His fifth-place finish in the shot put earned him First Team All-America plaudits and was the highest finish for any Panther since joining the NCAA. Isaiah also set school records in the shot put and discus during the 2021 outdoor season. He also was a Second Team All-America in the shot put during the indoor season.
At the 2021 NCAA Championships, Franz Mueller was a five-time All-American (4 First Team Relays, and 1 Honorable Mention as an Individual). He swam leadoff on the fifth-place 400 Free Relay, and second on the fifth-place 200 Free Relay. Mueller swam leadoff on two seventh-place relays (200 Medley and 400 Medley) and placed 13th in the 100 Back (47.86 in prelims). He also competed in the 50 Free (tied-for-16th at 19.99, then lost swim-off despite swimming a season-best time of 19.91) and 100 Free (20th at 44.27).
Mueller is a Mechanical Engineering with a 3.54 GPA and earned GLIAC All-Academic recognition for the third straight year (second consecutive Excellence honor). He has been named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll (term GPA 3.5+) for Fall 2017, Winter 2019, Fall 2019, Fall 2020 and Winter 2021. Mueller was named to the Coach's Honor Roll (term GPA 3.0-3.49) for Winter 2018 and Fall 2018. He is a member of the WSU Student Leadership Council.
Jack Ammerman picked up Second Team All-GLIAC honors this season for Northwood, Ammerman led Northwood and ranked eighth in the GLIAC in scoring at 16.5 points per game. He also ranked fifth in the league in 3-point percentage (44.2 percent) and seventh in 3-point field goals made (38). Ammerman scored in double figures in each of the team’s final 17 games of the season. In all, Ammerman ranked in the top 10 in the GLIAC in six different categories. He also holds the Northwood school record for free throw percentage in a season (92.7 percent) and ranks third in school history with 73 3-pointers made in a season. He is a Management major with a 3.596 GPA
Groendyk helped lead the Laker men to an NCAA Outdoor National Championship. The junior from Zeeland, Mich., earned USTFCCCA first team All-American honors after finishing fifth in the 800m run at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships with a time of 1:50.40. Groendyk also helped lead the Laker men to indoor and outdoor GLIAC Championships. An engineering major, Groendyk carries a 3.59 cumulative GPA and holds three GLIAC All-Academic Excellence honors.