Jack Nicholson of the St. Thomas Aquinas Men's Soccer team was presented with the 2019 East Coast Conference Excellence in Community and Character Award at the recent ECC Awards Dinner, held at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY.
The most prestigious award presented of the night, Excellence in Community and Character Award recipients are student-athletes who have distinguished themselves through positive actions and behaviors that are consistent with the NCAA Division II attributes of learning, service, passion, sportsmanship, balance, and resourcefulness.
“This award is not just for the best student, best athlete, the best sportsman or woman,” said ECC Commissioner, Dr. Robert Dranoff. “This is an award for all-around excellence.”
As the starting goalkeeper for the St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans, Jack Nicholson closed out his stellar four-year career, registering a 10-5-1 record with a 1.44 goals against average and .672 save percentage, while posting five shutouts in his senior season.
His ability to also provide offense for the team certainly did not go unnoticed either, as the Totton Southampton, England native picked up a highlight reel game-tying goal vs. UDC and an assist on another tally against Holy Family University this year. He was named to ECC All-Conference Third Team and was a Google Could/CoSIDA Academic All-District Selection, boasting a 3.48 GPA in Business management.
But is not only what Jack has done on the field or in the classroom that makes him exceptional. It is what he has done for the student-athletes at St. Thomas Aquinas, the East Coast Conference, and Division II.
Jack had been an active member of the Spartans SAAC, but took it to the next level, organizing meetings and creating a buzz around the organization. Jack elevated the level of involvement in the SAAC and helped to create events for the student-athletes and the community. He worked hard to recruit new participants and build interest with his fellow students. That wasn't enough. In 2016 he was selected to represent the East Coast Conference on the NCAA DII National SAAC, an important role as now he would represent all ten ECC institutions.
On the conference level, serving as the Chair of the ECC SAAC as well, Jack has been instrumental in creating conference-wide initiatives such as ECC Mental Health Awareness week and helping to strengthen partnerships with organizations such as Team Impact. He has attended ECC meetings and leadership forums, helping schools to strategize on how best to improve their own SAACs and to serve as a sounding board for his fellow student-athletes.
Through his involvement in National SAAC, Jack has been able to strengthen the DII student-athlete voice. He has served on panels at Leadership Forums and Regional SAAC Summits and was selected as one of two National SAAC student-athletes as a representative on the Management Council. As the ECC rep to Management Council, Jack is well respected by students and administrators alike, anxious to contribute to the discussion and provide his well-considered thoughts on important topics. He represents St Thomas Aquinas, the ECC, and the NCAA well.
Jack’s goal is to pursue a career in college athletic administration. His first step will be when he begins work on his master’s degree as a Grad Assistant at Mercy College this fall.