With big names such as Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning winning the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes top student athletes for their hard work on and off the field, UW- Eau Claire senior, and defensive lineman Matt Hawley is proud to be a finalist.
“I feel honored just to be amongst some of the big names in all of college sports,” Hawley said. “It just goes to show that the hard work and time management that I put in to both school and athletics that it’s nice to be recognized.”
His coach, Todd Glaser, was the one who nominated him for the trophy and said that just Matt’s nomination for the trophy and what it stands for is a big
“I think what it stands for is a (Student) that excels in the classroom and also on the athletic field,” Glaser said. “I think they go hand in hand when you talk about athletics and some of the best in the county are up for this award, and some of the people who have won it have gone on to do
Glaser said he nominated Hawley because of his dedication to both his team and his academics.
“He sets a perfect example of a true student athlete, he excels in the classroom as well as on the (field), he is a great leader … he has a great personality, (you) kind of gravitate towards him,” he said.
Not only does Hawley work hard athletically but he also pays close
attention to his academics.
“It’s hard at first, but you just set aside time each day, after practice, after classes, make sure you go to the library, get your mind right and focus on your studies,” Hawley said.
Hawley said that keeping grades up is a matter of making sure that all of his time is used constructively, and in the end, things will turn out for the better.
“Hard work does pay off, if you feel like you are struggling, ask for help if you need it, there are plenty of services that you can take advantages of, like the writing lab, library, coaches will help, just keep working hard,” Hawley said.
Hawley knows that he is a well-rounded student, but now because of his nomination, more people are becoming familiar with all of his hard work.
“To know that you have been recognized as a student athlete, you kind of have people look at you in a different light, and you don’t want to let them down,” Hawley said.
When asked about why people see him in a different light, Hawley had a very personal response.
“You don’t really talk about grades on the football team … you don’t want to let people down, you have that persona on you that you are smart and you don’t want to let your grades suffer,”
The nomination for the trophy has empowered Hawley to keep doing what he has always done, which is stay dedicated to both the university both in class and in athletics.