NAECAD names top coaches, directors and All-Americans
The National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors has honored Jared Schulte of the University of Mount Union and Angel LaRose of Horlick High School in Racine, Wis., as its 2019-2020 Players of the Year while naming 15 student-athletes to its All-America teams.
In addition, NAECAD named Dr. Chris Haskell of Boise State University and Ryan Hinds of Elm Creek High School (Neb.) as its Coaches of the Year, while recognizing Shaun Byrne of St. Clair College and Alene Vandermyde of Davenport Central High Schools as its Esports Directors of the Year. They will all be honored at NAECAD’s National Convention, which will be held Oct 19-21 in coordination with the Academic Esports Conference & Expo.
NAECAD heralded Schulte, an Exercise Science major, as an exceptional student-athlete and a cornerstone member of Mount Union’s Overwatch roster in the DPS role.
“During our match vs Northwood, Jared (Anonymoose) was able to make several game changing plays in order to push Mount Union to a 2-0 victory in the set, including this one,” says Derek Spinell, director of esports at Mount Union. “Jared is always staying after practice to go over VODs, and is the driving force behind composition and shot calling.”
NAECAD’s awards recognize individuals for a balance of athletic achievement, sportsmanship and citizenship. While elite in-game performance is important, the awards are aimed at recognizing the overall impact the individual has made, including: impactful or notable in-game performance; evidence of good sportsmanship and teamwork; community service; superior academic achievement; and overcoming personal obstacles.
Schulte leads a groups of standout college players honored by NAECAD that includes newly crowned All-Americans Ben Grieser of Winthrop University; William Kim of Grand View University; Darian Hu of the University of Missouri, Columbia; CJ Savino of Illinois Wesleyan University; Dawson Lovell of St. Clair College; Gabriel Eckenroth of Grand View University; and Jon Schneck of Aquinas College.
LaRose leads the High School All-America team that also includes: Devin Cortese of Washington Park High School, Racine Unified School District, Racine, WI; Bowen Zhang of Saint John’s Preparatory School, Collegeville, MN; Josh Staley of Saint Ansgar High School, Saint Ansgar, IA; Luke Warner of Elm Creek High School, Elm Creek, NE; Anthony Amador of Cherokee Trail High School, Aurora, CO; Adrian Johnson of Davenport Central High School, Davenport, IA.
NAECAD also highlighted the efforts of those leading programs at both the district and higher education levels:
- Haskell oversees one of the winningest programs in the country in five of the biggest collegiate esports titles, as well as leading the independent broadcasting of over 200 hours of original esports content on its Twitch channel. As a professor and researcher, he focuses on the impact of video games, virtual worlds, social media, and digital culture.
- Hinds is also President of Nebraska Schools Esport Association (NSeSA) and leads the way for students to use video games in their future college and career fields.
- Byrne serves as program coordinator at St. Clair College, which was the first post-secondary institution in Canada to fully embrace varsity esports.
- Vandermyde is currently the Technology Innovator (Coach) and Esports Coordinator at Davenport Central High School. She sent the first email to start the Iowa High School Esports Association in the Spring of 2019, having officially launched its inaugural season this spring.
Chris Burt is the Esports Editor for University Business and District Administration magazines and is the Program Chair for the Academic Esports Conference & Expo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org