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Bethel has first-ever Google Cloud Academic All-American

June 19th, 2019

Connor Mickens on golf course

Connor Mickens, a 2019 Bethel graduate and member of the golf team, was named a Google Cloud Academic All-American®, and also earned All-America Scholar status from the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).

Mickens, Meriden, is the first Thresher student-athlete in school history to receive the Google Cloud honor. He earned 2nd Team status in the NAIA At-Large division.

Mickens was only the second (after Brian Krehbiel, a 2017 Bethel graduate) to be named to the GCAA’s Srixon/Cleveland All-America Scholars Team.

“It’s an honor to be the first,” said Mickens of his Google Cloud Academic All-America® designation.

He was part of a pool of Google Cloud Academic All-District® honorees that also included tennis players Gabe Johnson, 2019 graduate from Abilene, and Ryan LaCombe, senior from Newton, on the men’s side, and Kaci Wilson, senior from Sterling, on the women’s.

“Gabe, Ryan and Kaci were just as deserving of it as I was,” Mickens said.

Mickens is a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete in golf. He was a four-year letter winner in golf and was consistently one of Bethel’s top performers in his junior and senior seasons.

Mickens ended his career with five different program course records, including turning in a 70 (-2) at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City in fall 2018, as well as a 72 (E) at the Salina Country Club.

“There’s not a more well-deserving person as far as I’m concerned,” said head golf coach Gregg Dick.

“I knew Connor was always going to be working hard in the classroom as well as on the golf course. That’s what it takes.

“I’m very proud of him and excited I had the opportunity to work with him for four years. It is a well-deserved honor.”

Mickens graduated May 19 summa cum laude (with highest honors) with a degree in business administration.

To be eligible for the All-American award, student-athletes must be at least a sophomore academically with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3. This year’s Bethel group of Google Cloud Academic All-American® hopefuls boasted a cumulative GPA of 3.94, with Mickens coming in right above it at 3.95.

“I’m glad I was able to attend Bethel and have the opportunity to play golf and get an education,” said Mickens.

“I’m glad it worked out for me here. I appreciate Gregg [for] his support in golf and life in general. He was a great help to get me to where I am.”

Mickens also expressed appreciation to Allison McFarland, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Business at Bethel.

“I enjoyed having her as a professor,” he said.

The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) began the Academic All-America® program in 1952 and, since then, has honored thousands of deserving student-athletes from numerous sports across all divisions with the elite Academic All-America® Scholar-Athlete honors.

Currently, CoSIDA sponsors Google Cloud Academic All-America® programs for men’s and women’s soccer, football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball and men’s and women’s track and field/cross country. Many other sports are eligible through the At-Large division.

To be eligible for Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar status, an individual must be a junior or senior academically in the NCAA Division I, II or III or the NAIA, or receiving an associate degree and in their last year of athletic eligibility in the NJCAA.

They must participate in 50 percent or more of their team’s competitive rounds; have a stroke-average under 76.0 (DI), 78.0 (DII), 79.0 (DIII and NAIA) or 77.0 (NJCAA); maintain a minimum cumulative career GPA of 3.2; and be “of high moral character and in good standing at her/his college or university.

“Connor worked extremely hard both on the golf course and in the classroom for four years at Bethel,” said Dick, “and it is awesome to see it pay off for him with an award that highlights both of these achievements.”

Mickens joins Peter Choi of Sterling College as the only golfers from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference to earn the award this year. There were 23 total recipients for this year’s honor from the NAIA, out of 540 honorees across all divisions.

In athletics, Bethel competes within the 13-school KCAC, and the NAIA. For more information, see www.bethelthreshers.com

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to TitleIXCoordinator@bethelks.eduJosh Booth

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.