WINTHROP, Mass. – Sophomore Jacob Wyse (Broad Brook, Conn.) of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's swimming and diving team was named the 2019-20 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Year, it was announced via a release by the league's front office on Monday afternoon. Additionally, the men's swimming and diving team was collectively honored with a year-end major award, earning the GNAC Institutional Sportsmanship Award. Both awards and all of the major award winners are voted on by the seven GNAC head coaches.
Wyse, the reigning 2018-19 GNAC Rookie of the Year, tied for sixth at the 2020 GNAC Championships this past February racking up 28 individual points across three events en route to being voted the 2019-20 Athlete of the Year. His performace at the GNAC Championships included a gold-medal swim in the 100 Backstroke, second-place finish in 100 Butterfly, and third-place result in the 200 Backstroke. Wyse then went on to compete at the 2020 NEISDA Championships where he was the top GNAC finisher, and won the first-ever NEISDA gold medal in USJ history, besting the regional field in the 400 IM. He also posted a runner-up swim in the 200 IM and fifth-place finish in the 100 IM at NEISDA's, earning a spot on the All-New England Team in each event.
Wyse becomes the first-ever USJ swimmer or diver, male or female, to claim the Athlete of the Year title. He also becomes the first male student-athlete at USJ to earn Athlete/Player of the Year accolades across all sports after the institution went fully coeducational in the fall of 2018. He is also the first sophomore in GNAC men's swimming and diving history to earn Athlete of the Year honors.
In addition to Athlete of the Year, Wyse and his teammates were awarded the GNAC Men's Institutional Sportsmanship Award, which has been given out by the league annually for the last three seasons as a major award, becoming the first men's team at USJ to receive such honor. Regis College freshman standout Robert Wood was selected as the GNAC Men's Rookie of the Year, while longtime Husson University head coach Butch Babin was voted the GNAC Men's Coach of the Year after he guided the Eagles to a runner-up finish at the GNAC Championships, to round out the two other GNAC Major Awards.
The top-three finishers in each event from February's GNAC Championships also earned All-Conference honors. USJ had four Blue Jays claim All-Conference accolades headlined by Wyse who was All-GNAC in all three of his individual events. Freshman diver Zachary Nielsen (Berlin, Conn.) earned All-GNAC honors from both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards finishing third and second, respectively. Fellow freshman diver David Kavanaugh (West Hartford, Conn.) snagged an All-GNAC spot after finishing third from the 3-meter board, while sophomore Brendan Lynch (Watertown, Conn.) logged a third-place result in the 100 IM to claim All-GNAC glory.
In addition to the GNAC Institutional Sportsmanship Award, sophomore captain Jack Monroe (Waterbury, Conn.) was named to the GNAC All-Sportsmanship Team as the representative for the Blue Jays. A complete list of the Major Award Winners and All-Sportsmanship Team can be found below.
MAJOR AWARD WINNERS
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – Jacob Wyse, Saint Joseph (Conn.)
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – Robert Wood, Regis
COACH OF THE YEAR – Butch Babin, Husson
INSTITUTIONAL SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD – Saint Joseph (Conn.)
Tim Gablosky, Colby-Sawyer
Ryan Nodell, Elms
Steven Johnston, Husson
Jack Brennan, Norwich
Grant Kollien, Regis
Jack Monroe, Saint Joseph (Conn.)
Joe Nichols, Saint Joseph's (Maine)
Follow USJ Athletics
For the latest on University of Saint Joseph athletics, follow the Blue Jays on social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Fans can also download the USJ Front Row Mobile App and subscribe to our Newsletter and Text Alerts. #FearTheFlock #GoBlueJays