Concordia University Wisconsin's Eric Kittel has been named the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Man of the Year for the 2016-17 academic year, as chosen by the league's Senior Woman Administrators Standing Committee.
"My four years at Concordia University Wisconsin have shaped my life and values in a number of ways," said Kittel. "One of the most impactful community service opportunities for me came as I was able to participate in the Kapco Charitable Challenge. Through this challenge, I was able to find stories about people within the Milwaukee community who are making an impact for others. This challenge taught me how to serve others first and the impact that effort can have on both the server and the served.
"Athletics taught me the value of teamwork, collaboration and to strive to be my best. I was able to build relationships with a variety of people from all over the country and the world because of athletics. I have learned to be more vocal, respectful, and the value of being part of something bigger than myself. I learned to self-reflect so that I could continue to improve myself. Finally, Concordia taught me to value others. I learned the little things you do for others will leave a long lasting impact. Life is influenced a great deal by the boomerang effect, in that what you give comes back to you many times over."
The Brillion, Wisconsin native was a four-year member of the Falcons men's basketball team which won the NACC Tournament title and a trip to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament his sophomore year.
After being named to the NACC All-Freshman Team his rookie season, he earned three consecutive All-NACC First Team honors his final three years of competition as he became CUW's all-time leading scorer.
"We are so proud of Eric for his accomplishments this season and throughout his career at Concordia Wisconsin," said CUW Head Men's Basketball Coach Sean Cassidy. "He strove to be the hardest worker every day since he first set foot onto campus. I have enjoyed every minute of working with Eric because of his competitive drive and continuous desire to improve. Not only did he have an outstanding basketball career, but his contributions off the floor has been an example to others on campus."
Kittel graduated in May with a degree in sport and entertainment management as he accumulated a 3.74 GPA and was a four-time NACC scholar-athlete.
The two-time team captain was also a four-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, an assistant coordinator with Special Olympics and a team leader with the Kapco Charitable Challenge.
Each of the NACC's 11 co-ed members may nominate one male student-athlete for the annual award. The SWASC uses a combination of the following criteria in the selection of the award: athletic excellence, academic achievement, service and leadership, and personal statement.
NACC Man of the Year Award Recipients By Year:
2016-17: Eric Kittel, Concordia Wisconsin
2015-16: Logan Andryk, MSOE
2014-15: Logan Marvin, Dominican & Aaron Roeseler, Wisconsin Lutheran
2013-14: Eric Zeitler, Wisconsin Lutheran
2012-13: Doug Ingold, Aurora
2011-12: Tim Mackey, Aurora
2010-11: Austin Meier, MSOE
2009-10: Steve Salazar, Aurora & Brock Solveson, Concordia Wisconsin
2008-09: Zach Bickel, Concordia Chicago
2007-08*: Jordan Van Ess, Marian