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Thursday, June 27, 2013


The Northeast Conference has named Wagner football player Steve Ciocci of Royersford, Pa., as the recipient of its Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Student-Athlete of the Year award.

A former Seahawk offensive lineman who will begin his second year in Wagner’s MBA program program, Ciocci becomes the 11th NEC student-athlete to earn the honor and the third Wagner student-athlete to do so. In 2008-09, swimmer Alexandra Tomlinson won the award three years after women’s basketball player Joy Gallagher became the first Seahawk winner (2005-06).

The SAAC Student-Athlete of the Year Award recognizes individual excellence in both the academic and athletic realms as well as leadership and contributions to one’s community.

The honor is the latest in a series of accolades for the first team All-NEC performer, who helped lead Wagner to its first NEC championship and win over Colgate in the first round of the NCAA FCS playoffs.

”I’m marveled by Steve Ciocci’s incredible accomplishments as a student-athlete at Wagner College,” said Noreen Morris, NEC commissioner. “Not only did he achieve NEC All-First Team accolades on the football field, but he earned the highest recognition for his academic and community service efforts by being named to the Wagner Dean’s List and the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.”

Ciocci graduated in May 2012 with a degree in business administration, and is now pursuing his MBA at Wagner. He compiled a 3.53 grade point average as an undergraduate and maintains a 3.85 GPA in his graduate studies. Ciocci was a three-time member of the NEC Academic Honor Roll, and in 2012 was named to the exclusive NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll (3.75 or better GPA). Last fall, he was tabbed to the FCS Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star team, one of just 54 players nationwide to earn the honor.

On the field, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound right tackle started 25 consecutive games to close out his career and earned his first All-NEC nod last fall by opening holes for All-NEC running back Dominique Williams and providing protection for All-NEC quarterback Nick Doscher. The Seahawks, who finished 9-4, became the first NEC program to win an FCS playoff game and ranked 21st in the nation in the final Sports Network FCS poll.

At year’s end, Ciocci was invited to participate in the FCS Senior Scout Bowl and Pro Grass International Scout Bowl.

In September, Ciocci was among an elite group of 22 players from throughout the country named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for the many community service programs in which he participated in, including several that he initiated. Along with his fellow Good Works Team members, Ciocci was honored at midfield during halftime of the January 3 Sugar Bowl game between Louisville and Florida at the Superdome.

“Steve Ciocci has simply done it all here at Wagner and we are extremely proud that the NEC is recognizing him with this prestigious honor,” said Walt Hameline, Wagner Director of Athletics and head football coach. “In more than three decades here as head coach, I’m not sure I can think of another student-athlete who has made such a big impact in so many different areas than Steve has. He’s represented Wagner with honor in everything he set after — Scholar, three-year starter, first-team All-League player on a conference championship team, and an incredible leader on campus, on the field, in the locker room, and in the community.

“He is Wagner’s first-ever member of the AFCA Good Works Team and was recipient of an important civic engagement award given out by the college last year. What else can you say?” Hameline added. “As intelligent, caring and humble a person as you’ll ever meet, Steve does it all in a somewhat understated way ... yet, he does it all. He’s incredible and I salute him.”

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