Farmington, Maine - University of Maine at Farmington recent graduate Sean Cabaniss has been awarded a prestigious NCAA postgraduate scholarship.
"Being awarded this scholarship is very humbling, and I wish to acknowledge the support and assistance of professors, coaches, teammates and administration that contributed to any accomplishments I had at UMF as well as the aspirations this funding will support," said Cabaniss.
The postgraduate scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the association's most accomplished student-athletes through their participation in NCAA championship and/or emerging sports. Their athletic and academic achievements, as well as campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership are all evaluated and considered in the selection.
Across all three divisions, the NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically, and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition to apply toward the expense of graduate school.
The one-time, non-renewable grants are awarded for fall, winter, and spring sports. During the sport's season, there are only 29 scholarships available for each men's and women's teams.
Cabaniss will attend Smith College in Northampton, Mass., where he will pursue his master's degree in exercise and sport studies. While focusing on his academics, Cabaniss will also be a graduate assistant with the track team under the supervision of Coach Carla Coffey.
"Sean is very deserving of this award as he has the drive and passion to become an outstanding track and field coach," said Coffey. "In fact, he becomes the first G.A. during my tenure as track and field coach here at Smith who I have taken after just completing his undergraduate degrees."
Sean is only the third UMF graduate to receive this award from the NCAA. He finished with a 3.77 GPA while graduating with a dual degree in secondary education mathematics and applied mathematics, and a minor in coaching. "By way of this award, Sean joins an elite group of very talented and driven student-athletes. It has been a pleasure to work with him and watch him grow. I know he is excited to continue to learn, develop and contribute via the opportunities ahead," said Julie Davis, UMF director of athletics, fitness and recreation.
Cabaniss has been on the Dean's List for nine semesters, elected to the North Atlantic Conference All-Academic Team from spring 2014-spring 2016, while also being tagged as the 2017 Track and Field Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year. He was also named 2017 North Atlantic Conference Man of the year.
Cabaniss was a four-year standout as an outfielder for the UMF baseball team from 2012-2016. He was named to the All-Conference First Team, and holds the single-season win record as a team.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Sean, and came to know him as a truly valuable asset to our baseball program and the University of Maine at Farmington. Sean is honest, dependable, and incredibly hard-working in all facets of being a Division III student-athlete," said UMF baseball coach Christopher Bessey.
Cabaniss was the co-founder and four-year president of the track and field club team. He started the track program at UMF in 2013 and went on to help make the sport a full-time varsity team. He participated on the varsity outdoor track team in his fifth year while earning a second degree and completing the coaching minor. He excelled there as well, setting conference records in long and triple jump, and earning points at the regional level.
"Sean has been one of the finest role models who has come through UMF. How fortunate for UMF to be able to share him with the rest of humanity," said head track and field coach, Dan Campbell.
Off the field, Cabaniss was an active member of the UMF Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), where he represented both the baseball, and track and field teams.
In 2016, he was voted by his peers for the UMF Beaver Pride award. In that same year, UMF coaches selected him for the Senior Athlete award.
Said Cabaniss, "Although this scholarship was based on my baseball accomplishments, I will be an assistant track and field coach at Smith College, pursuing my master's degree in exercise and sports studies. My goal is to be a full-time college track coach. Baseball and track have given a lot to me, and I want nothing more than to continue with collegiate sports as a career and as a way to give back."