Alex Ivanov, standout goalkeeper of Ohio State University who became the first Academic All-American in program history, has been selected in nationwide balloting as the 2014 Senior CLASS Award® winner in NCAA® Division I men's soccer.
The award, chosen by a vote of Division I men's soccer coaches, national soccer media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men's soccer. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, community, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete in 10 NCAA sports and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
"Being selected as the winner of the 2014 Senior CLASS Award for men's soccer is the perfect way to end my career as a Buckeye and begin the next chapter in my life," Ivanov said. "I'm excited for the opportunity to play professionally or to begin working as an engineer. To be selected at the top of this list of seniors is incredible. I can't express enough gratitude to my teammates and coaches for supporting me in my journey as a student-athlete at Ohio State. I would also like to thank all the people that voted for me as well as everyone that work very hard to make NCAA soccer the success that it is."
During his senior season, Ivanov led the Big Ten Conference in saves for the second consecutive year with 91 stops and vaulted the Buckeyes back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. He finished third on Ohio State's all-time career saves list with 239 stops and fifth in career shutouts with 15.
While serving as team co-captain, Ivanov has been equally productive in the classroom and in the local community. The Strongsville, Ohio native earned a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering with a 3.70 cumulative GPA. He also has been involved in multiple outreach programs for youth, including a lead role with a non-profit organization aimed at improving the quality of life for children battling brain tumors.
"We couldn't be more proud of Alex," said OSU men's soccer head coach, John Bluem. "As a walk-on, no one has worked harder on and off the field like what he has done the last five years and Alex deserves to receive this prestigious award. This is great for him and for our Ohio State program. He's been the leader of the Buckeyes and his successful OSU career will have an impact on future Buckeyes for years to come. Alex has been well-respected by his teammates and opponents and was a key reason for our success that led us back to the NCAA tournament this past fall. He is the definition of what it means to be a Buckeye and this is a great recognition for him. The future is bright for Alex Ivanov."
Ivanov is the second Ohio State student-athlete to be honored as a Senior CLASS Award winner. James Laurinaitis was voted as the football award winner in 2008.
"Alex has been a model student-athlete during his collegiate career at Ohio State," said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. "He stands for everything this award was created for and, on behalf of the organizing committee, we congratulate him on winning the 2014 honor for men's soccer."
For more information, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.