Royals Pitcher Named Wooden Cup Semifinalist

February 14, 2013 | 12:28 p.m.

By Jared Johnson, Sports Information Director

Matt Rowley was honored as a semifinalist for the highest award of character and community service in collegiate athletics.

Senior Matt Rowley was recently announced by Athletes for a Better World as one of 20 semifinalists for the Coach John Wooden Citizenship Cup. The recognition tops a long list of awards for Rowley, who begins his senior season as the Royals centerfielder and starting pitcher this month.

Named for John Wooden, the Wooden Citizenship Cup annually honors two athletes, one collegiate and one professional, who have demonstrated the highest level of character and leadership off and on the field, and who have contributed to sport and society. This award is the highest recognition given in sports because it is open to all athletes in all sports and is achieved not for athletic superiority, but for high standards in character, leadership, and citizenship.

In addition to the 20 semifinalists, the selection committee for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup has also already announced the five finalists for the intercollegiate award and named golfer Jack Nicklaus as the winner of the professional award. Annually, between 75 and 100 collegiate athletes are nominated for the award.

Rowley is one of five NCAA Division III athletes recognized as a semifinalist and the only Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) athlete on the list. Two notable semifinalists are  Matt Barkley, University of Southern California quarterback, and Collin Klein, Kansas State quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist. 
 
In order to be nominated for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, an  athlete must exemplify the values of the Code for Living as well as:
• Train with a disciplined, consistent work ethic 
• Demonstrate fair play and sportsmanship
• Develop positive supportive relationships with teammates and coaches  
• Win or lose with grace and dignity 
• Contribute significantly on campus, in the community and/or world
 
Athletes are scored based on two equal, but different, parts. Part one was based on their training behaviors, competitive behaviors, relationships with teammates and coaches, and their response to victory and defeat. Part two was based on their leadership off the playing field, on campus, in the community, and/or in the world.
 
Following the 2012 season, Rowley was named MIAC Most Valuable Player, ABCA/Rawlings All-American Third Team (Util.), D3baseball.com All-Midwest Region First Team (OF), ABCA All-Region First Team (Util.), D3baseball.com All-Midwest Region Third Team (P), and MIAC All-Defensive Team (OF).