June 20, 2012

Lyndon's Craig Johnson named NAC Man of the Year

LYNDON CENTER, Vt. — The North Atlantic Conference is pleased to announce that Craig Johnson of Lyndon State College has been selected as the winner of its inaugural Man of the Year award in a vote of the league's athletic directors.

A four-year standout cross country runner at Lyndon, Johnson will be honored at a home event during the 2012-13 academic year.

"Craig Johnson exemplifies the Division III Student-Athlete," said NAC Commissioner Julie Muller. "In a sport where honors are largely earned with one performance, on one day, he has distinguished himself among the best runners in the NAC. Earning Runner of the Year in 2008 and being selected for first or second team all-conference throughout his career is outstanding." 

Johnson has played an integral role in the success of the Lyndon cross country both on the course and in the classroom. A four-time member of the NAC All-Conference team, Johnson was named Runner of the Year and Rookie of the Year in 2008.

"Craig has been a leader by example on and off the race course, athletically and academically," said Lyndon Director of Athletics and Head Cross Country Coach Chris Ummer. "While a student of the sport, Craig's pure love for cross country becomes blatantly clear with his drive and focus for training and racing. It has been my pleasure and great fortune to have coached Craig, as well as Lyndon's to have him as a member of the campus community the last four years."

Johnson led Lyndon to three-straight conference titles from 2008-2010 and has been a part of two-straight Lyndon teams which earned USTFCCCA Division III All-Academic honors. A two-time NAC All-Academic recipient, Johnson was inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society in 2009 and the Beta Alpha Chapter of the Sigma Zeta National Science and Mathematics Honors Society in 2010.

He is also a member of Lyndon's Arthur B. Eliot Honor Society and was recently awarded the Lyndon Atmospheric Sciences Academic Achievement Award. Johnson was the Vice President for the American Meteorological Society & National Weather Association, as well as Secretary for the Sigma Zeta Beta Alpha Honor Society.

He has spent time educating local youth in schools about meteorology and is a Peer Net advisor for the Atmospheric Sciences department, helping advise and mentor first-year students.

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, athletics excellence, service and leadership.

"The NAC has been a strong supporter of the NCAA Woman of the Year Award and takes pride in selecting a NAC nominee each year," Muller said.  "One of the cornerstones of our philosophy is equal treatment of all student-athletes and we felt that we were missing out on an opportunity to recognize an outstanding male student-athlete at the same time."