WATERVILLE, Maine - The North Atlantic Conference (NAC) is pleased to announce that SUNY Canton's Josh Yelvington has been selected as the winner of its annual Man of the Year award in a vote of the league's athletic directors and senior woman administrators. Yelvington becomes the first SUNY Canton student athlete to be named NAC Man of the Year, in what is also the first year as members of the NAC for the Roos.
Yelvington was one of six male student athletes nominated by campus athletic departments for the prestigious award which encompasses all facets of the NCAA Division III student athlete experience. Read about all of the 2018-19 NAC Man of the Year nominees HERE.
The Carthage, New York native graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in finance in 2019 and earned an associate degree in accounting in 2017.
Yelvington is a commissioned second lieutenant in the US Air Force after completing the Air Force reserve officer training (ROTC) program through Clarkson University. Yelvington is now serving his Air Force duty stationed at Aviano Air Base in Italy, and will be presented his award at a to-be-determined date upon his return stateside.
"We're proud to honor a student athlete as remarkable as Josh," said Marcella Zalot, NAC commissioner. "His career on the lacrosse field was outstanding, and when combined with his academic achievements at the highest levels and his training for the US Air Force, he is truly impressive. Josh is an exemplary young man and the NAC is honored to bestow our highest award to a student athlete who embodied the Division III philosophy throughout his career."
Yelvington became the first SUNY Canton student athlete to earn All-America honors when he was named to the Division III USILA/Warrior All-America Honorable Mention Team, as announced by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) this spring. He was also named a USILA/Warrior DIII Scholar All-American.
The midfielder led the Roos with 73 points on 50 goals and 23 assists, pacing the team to a 10-7 mark in 2019, including a perfect 6-0 record in NAC games. SUNY Canton advanced to the NAC championship game falling just short of the program's first NCAA Tournament berth. He set single-season and career records for the Roos in both goals and points despite just three years in a SUNY Canton uniform, tallying 118 goals and 156 points total. He earned team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards, and was named SUNY Canton's 2019 Co-Male Senior Student-Athlete of the Year.
"We are extremely proud of Josh and all that he accomplished both on the field, in the classroom, around campus and in the greater community during his three years at SUNY Canton," said Pat Harrington, men's lacrosse head coach. "His work ethic and ability to lead by example and balance an extremely busy workload was impressive. Without Josh our team would not have been able to make its first appearance in the NAC Championship last spring, and amass 21 wins over the last two seasons."
Yelvington volunteered at Special Olympics events on campus throughout his time in Canton. He also served the school as the treasurer for the Student Government Association, managing a budget of more than half a million dollars. He will use his financial education and experience in his new role of financial manager for the US Air Force.
"We are thrilled for Josh to receive this extremely prestigious honor. To be the first SUNY Canton student athlete to be recognized with this distinction in our first year in the conference is remarkable," said Randy Sieminski, SUNY Canton athletic director. "Not only was Josh a standout performer on the field, but an amazing success off the field as well. His roles in student government, ROTC, Special Olympics and a number of other extracurricular activities highlight his extraordinary collegiate career and the possibilities that exist for Division III student athletes."
Yelvington was selected NAC Player of the Week three times throughout the 2019 season on his way to becoming the NAC Men's Lacrosse Player of the Year. He was also named to the NAC All-Tournament Team and earned First Team All-Conference honors in 2019.
The NAC Man of the Year award is modeled after the NCAA's Woman of the Year program, which honors graduating student athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service, and leadership.
The 2019 NAC Woman of the Year will be announced on Thursday, July 18.