In exclusive voting by the senior woman administrators of the conference, Riley Schaefer of Texas Lutheran University has been selected the 2019 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Man of the Year.
Schaefer, a 2019 TLU graduate with a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in accountancy, is the first Bulldog to be named SCAC Man of the Year.
The SCAC Man of the Year was established prior to the 2012-13 athletics season.
The award recognizes senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.
Schaefer finished his degrees at TLU with an overall grade point average of 3.98. He completed his four years of baseball eligibility in 2018, but he was not eligible for SCAC Man of the Year until he finished his undergraduate and master’s degrees (completed concurrently) this May.
Schaefer was the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Elite 90 award winner in 2018. He received the Elite 90 award as the top student-athlete at the national championship finals, also known as the NCAA DIII World Series, in Appleton, Wisconsin.
The Bulldogs’ starting center fielder in 2018, Schaefer led TLU to its first-ever NCAA DIII World Series appearance. The Bulldogs finished as the national runner-up and won the Spokane (Washington) Regional Championship and the SCAC Championship.
“Being a part of not only the community here at TLU but the SCAC community as an athlete has allowed me to experience some amazing opportunities that I wouldn’t have been afforded otherwise,” said Schaefer. “From the weekend community service outings with my teammates to traveling all the way to Appleton, Wisconsin for the national championship, I have made memories that will last me a lifetime.”
For the 2017-18 academic year and the 2018 baseball season, Schaefer was the SCAC Player of the Year, the D3baseball.com West Region Player of the Year, the TLU Male Student-Athlete of the Year, and the TLU Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Schaefer was twice named a Google Cloud Academic All-American. He was a Third Team selection in 2017 and a First Team choice in 2018. He is one of only 11 Bulldogs in TLU Athletics history to claim at least two Academic All-America awards.
To make it to the Google Cloud Academic All-America ballot, Schaefer twice was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District First Team. He made those teams in 2017 and 2018.
Schaefer was a four-time member of the SCAC Academic Honor Roll.
“Riley Schaefer is the epitome of a Division III baseball player,” said Greg Burnet, TLU’s head baseball coach. “His tremendous work ethic led to the successes he experienced both on and off the field.”