LEXINGTON, Ky. (8/22/13) – Kentucky forward Tyler Riggs has been named one of 30 men’s soccer standouts in the NCAA as candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, given to the top senior student-athlete in the nation, it was announced on Wednesday afternoon.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Riggs is one of 30 of the top senior student-athletes in collegiate soccer to be named a candidate for the prestigious award. The Senior CLASS Award is annually given to a men’s soccer senior who excels on and off the field, with notable achievements in four categories – community, classroom, character and competition.
A 5-foot-9, 155-pound product of St. Xavier, Riggs is the first UK player to lead the team in scoring for three consecutive years since All-American Jamal Shteiwi from 2002-04. A three-time All-Conference USA selection by the league coaches, Riggs enters his senior season needing 11 goals to equal the UK career record.
Overall, Riggs ranks sixth in UK career history in points (55), fourth in goals (23), eighth in game-winning goals (six) and 11th in shots (103). As a freshman in 2010, Riggs led UK with five goals in 19 games, before a breakout sophomore season saw him net 11 goals with five assists on just 41 shots. As a junior in 2012, Riggs battled an injury that limited him to 15 starts but still paced the Wildcats in scoring with seven goals and four assists. UK’s 2012 season saw the Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003, setting program records for wins and games played against top-25 foes.
A mechanical engineering major with a 3.93 cumulative GPA, Riggs is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, earning first-team honors in 2012. He has made just one “B” in his academic career, earning spots on the Dean’s List in each semester. Riggs plans to complete the BS/MBA Dual Program at UK after graduating and spent his summer in Louisville working as an engineering intern in the global production group at Brown-Forman, serving as a project manager for capital projects.
Riggs’ community involvement has set the standard for the program, with an extensive volunteer résumé that includes working with the St. Joseph Children’s Home, YMCA, local soup kitchens, the St. Patrick Parish Vacation Bible School, Louisville Zoo, local high school camps and elementary schools, and God’s Pantry. He has also volunteered with the Dare to Care organization, helping with a food drive, and worked with Junior Achievement, a program that helps teach children about real world experiences and life as an adult, such as paying bills, supporting family, buying a house/car. Riggs also has worked with the Habitat for Humanity in the construction of new homes for the underprivileged and has worked with Project Warm, helping to winterize people’s homes in downtown Louisville. In addition, Riggs has visited the Veterans Hospital, worked as a volunteer at a swimming event for the Special Olympics and worked with the Volunteers of America in downtown Louisville, helping with landscaping and maintenance in needed projects. He has also volunteered with the Glenn Hill Equine Therapy program, helping handicapped children learn to ride horses.
Riggs, whose sister Morgan is a freshman on the women’s soccer team, is the first player in school history to earn a spot on the Senior CLASS Award candidate listing. The candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season and those 10 names will go on an official ballot. In a balloting of nationwide media, coaches and fans, one student-athlete will be honored with the award.
Men's Soccer Candidates
–Nick Alers, Yale JJ Koval, Stanford
–Adam Bedell, Detroit Mercy Nick Kristock, Oakland
–James Beeston, Siena Rob Lovejoy, North Carolina
–John Berner, So. Illinois-Edwardsville Steve Neumann, Georgetown
–Reinaldo Brenes, Akron Mackenzie Pridham, Cal Poly
–Franklin Castellanos, Iona Spencer Richey, Washington
–Bryan Ciesiulka, Marquette Tyler Riggs, Kentucky
–Kevin Cope, Michigan State Chris Ritter, Northwestern
–A.J. Corrado, Indiana Colin Seigfreid, American
–Mamadou Doudou Diof, Connecticut Mark Sherrod, Memphis
–Stephen Dooley, Loyola (Maryland) Harrison Shipp, Notre Dame
–Kevin Dzierzawsk, Dartmouth Patrick Slogic, Cornell
–Itode Fubara, East Tennessee State Joe Sofia, UCLA
–Tyler Gibson, Charlotte Bernardo Ulmo, Radford
–Nick Hagglund, Xavier Kyle Venter, New Mexico
Information provided by Brent Ingram (UK Athletics)
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