TAMPA, Fla. - Former University of South Florida men's soccer standout Zak Boggs was named a finalist for the prestigious AAU Sullivan Award, as the top amateur athlete of 2009. Boggs was one of six finalists that was honored at the New York Athletic Club in New York City on April 14.
""I am honored to be named as a finalist for the Sullivan Award,"" said Boggs. ""Just to be mentioned with the other athletes that were named as semifinalists - along with the list of past winners - this is an amazing achievement that I will truly cherish. When I found out about the award in January from Justin (assistant athletics director Justin Miller) he said that it was something that we should look into. It's a nice feeling to get recognized for not just the hard work that I have put in on the soccer field, but also in the class room and the community.""
Known as the ""Oscar"" of sports awards, and older than The Heisman, the AAU Sullivan Award honors the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. It has been presented annually by the Amateur Athletic Union since 1930 as a salute to founder and past president of the AAU, and a pioneer in amateur sports, James E. Sullivan. Based on the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of amateurism, the AAU Sullivan Award goes far beyond athletic accomplishments and honors those who have shown strong moral character.
Boggs has proven to be the epitome of the term student-athlete. A native of Vienna, W.Va., Boggs finished his undergraduate career at USF early with a degree in biomedical sciences in May of 2009, boasting a perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA) while earning 136 credit hours. He is currently working on his graduate degree in economics and marketing.
Boggs has been recruited to USF's MBA program as the first exception to a standard two-year work experience requirement. With a career GPA of 4.0, Boggs became the first USF soccer player to be awarded the prestigious BIG EAST Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the year since USF joined the conference in 2005, doing so at the end of the 2008-09 academic year. Additionally, he was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Team and All-District Team. Boggs was also named to the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Senior All America First Team.
Boggs excels not only in the classroom but off the field as well. Highly active in several community service activities during his free time, Boggs regularly volunteers his time to assist at programs such as the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota Bay, as well as the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and the Shriners Hospital for Children, both located at USF. In addition to his rigorous schedule, Boggs also finds time to serve as an academic tutor to his fellow student-athletes at the University of South Florida.
In addition to his high level of competitiveness in the classroom and in soccer, Boggs also takes part in numerous extracurricular activities to challenge that competitive spirit. He is a member of the National Eagle Scout Association, a second degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, the West Virginia State Marble Shooter Champion, a member of the USA Jump Rope Association, and a member of Jump Company USA World Class Jump Rope team. Boggs travels around to several elementary schools throughout the year where he informs kids about the benefits of jump roping.
Because of his timeless efforts in the classroom, the community and on the soccer field, Boggs was the recipient of the 2010 Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup Award, presented by the Athletes for a Better World in Atlanta, Ga.
Former University of South Florida men's soccer standout Zak Boggs was named a finalist for the prestigious AAU Sullivan Award, as the top amateur athlete of 2009. Boggs was one of six finalists that was honored at the New York Athletic Club in New York City on April 14.