by staff–27 Aug ’19
Former University of Wyoming quarterback Nick Smith was named the Mountain West Male Scholar Athlete of the Year on Tuesday. He is the first male athlete to earn the award since fellow Cowboy football player Luke Ruff garnered the honor in 2012-13. He is the fourth Wyoming student-athlete to be named a Mountain West Scholar Athlete joining Audra DeStefano (2016-17), Luke Ruff and Chaundra Sewell (2012-13) and Greg Miller (2011-12).
Established by the Mountain West Joint Council in 1999, the MW Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award is the highest honor presented to a student-athlete by the Conference. The award is bestowed annually to one male and one female who best exemplify the term “student-athlete” by achieving excellence in academics, athletics and community involvement over the course of their intercollegiate career. In addition to athletic achievement, recipients of the MW Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average, demonstrate leadership, and exhibit good character and conduct on and off the playing field. Each honoree will receive a $2,500 postgraduate scholarship.
Smith joined the Wyoming football program in 2014. The native of Merritt Island, Florida, graduated with a finance degree in the fall of 2017, holding a 3.96 GPA and he currently holds a 3.93 GPA as he works towards a master’s in finance. He was one of 13 semifinalists for the 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy and earned Academic All-MW honors.
“I’m very excited to have received this honor,” Smith said. “It was such an honor to represent the University of Wyoming both in collegiate athletics and in the classroom. Every step of the way during my college career was a great learning experience. I used my time learning on the football field from coach Bohl and used that off the field and in the classroom. My career really came full circle with my great experience in athletics and in the classroom.”
On the field in 2018, Smith played in three games as Wyoming finished the season with a 6-6 record and helped Wyoming become bowl eligible in three-straight seasons for the first time in school history. Smith appeared in 18 games for the Cowboys in his career with four starts. He completed 20-of-32 attempts for 231 yards against Fresno State in 2017 for a career high in completions and yards.
“Nick was a tremendous worker both on the field and in the classroom,” Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said. “He was a great teammate and we are very proud of this incredible accomplishment.”
In his collegiate career, Smith was a four-time letterwinner and three-time MW Scholar Athlete. Smith was also a member of the Dean’s List and President’s Honor Roll ever year at Wyoming. He was also named the University of Wyoming’s Most Outstanding Master’s Student in Finance. He was named the MW’s Top Scholar by Street & Smith Magazine last season.
He was also active in the community. Smith was a leader and coach at a local football camp. He also volunteered at Night to Shine an event put on by the Tim Tebow Foundation. He also was a member of the University of Wyoming’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes working numerous events for the organization.
Smith also spent time in the athletic department working in the business office conducting analysis on revenues and expenses. He also worked with Western State’s Bank in Laramie as an intern in credit analysis.
“This award is all about Nick Smith and he was a young man that took great advantage of the college experience,” Wyoming director of athletics Tom Burman said. “We are so proud that he is a graduate of the University of Wyoming and we have great expectations for this young man.”
Boise State women’s cross country and track and field runner Allie Ostranderwon the MW Female Scholar-Athlete Award.