BEREA, Ohio -- Baldwin Wallace University senior All-Ohio Athletic Conference defensive end Andy Schultz (North Royalton) has been selected by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to attend the Student Immersion Program at the 2017 NCAA Convention on January 18-21 in Nashville, Tennessee. Schultz is a student leader on the BW campus and in the football program.
Schultz, who is the first-ever BW student-athlete selcected for the program, will join 41 other ethnic minority students in the Student Immersion Program class. He will attend education sessions, Special Olympics activities, the DiSC Workshop, the Division III Issues Forum and the Delegate Business Session along with BW Director of Athletics Kris A. Diaz and BW Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Alan Kolp. In addition, Schultz will attend meal functions of NCAA student-athletes and the OAC meeting on Friday, January 20.
The Immersion Program is for ethnic-minority students, preferably juniors and seniors, with a strong interest in a career in Division III athletics. The goal is to build a pipeline of talented ethnic-minority candidates with an interest in Division III coaching and/or administration in an effort to ultimately diversify the division's athletics administration.
Schultz, who was one of four football team captains in 2016, feels he is ready for the opportunity and trip.
"I am very excited to attend the national convention with Mr. Diaz and Dr. Kolp ," said Schultz. "I get more excited each day because it's one day closer to this great opportunity!
"I can't thank Mr. Diaz and Dr. Kolp enough for selecting me to go to the national convention," continued a grateful Schultz. "This is an opportunity that I couldn't pass up and I look forward to spending time with them in Nashville. I am beyond excited!
Schultz also feels that BW has him ready to make an impact in Nashville.
"BW has prepared me for this opportunity in many ways," said Schultz who plans to work in collegiate athletics following graduation in the spring of 2018. "From the leadership class with Dr. Alan Kolp all the way to the being selected a captain for the football team. BW has always been supportive and caring of their student-athletes.
"I am a very determined person," said Schultz who viewed as one of the hardest workers on the football squad. "I try to get my teammates and other people who I am around to reach their full potential. I am always living the 4Q4L (Four Quarters for Life) mindset and try to instill that into others.
"When I graduate from BW, I plan to become either a football or strength and conditioning coach," continued Schultz. "I want the best for the student-athletes who I will coach and train. I will get them to reach their full potential by showing them what it takes to be successful on and off the field.
This season, Schultz was injured and lost for the season in BW's season-opening 42-0 victory against Defiance College. A year ago, the second-team All-OAC selection at defensive end also earned OAC Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors when he had a career-high 11 tackles in a 56-20 victory against OAC-rival Capital University, which included two tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He was credited with making 47 total tackles, including a team-leading 9.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 quarterback sacks. He also forced two fumbles, recovered another fumble and deflected two other passes.
Earlier this season at OAC Football Media Day, Schultz was one of two Yellow Jacket football student-athletess to represent the University. He represented BW on the OAC's annual Football Preview webcast. Despite his injury this fall, Schultz intends to return to BW next fall as a red-shirt senior and will utilize his final season of athlertiocs eligibility.
"Andy is a leader in the classroom, on our campus and as a team captain on the field and in the locker room," said former football coach and current Assistant Director of Athletics John Snell. "After his injury cut short his season, he was involved in every aspect of the program that he could possibly be involved with from coaching and teaching during practice to making defensive calls during games.
"Andy listens to coaching, works extremely hard and takes a great deal of leadership responsibility with both his fellow team captains and all of our student-athletes," said Snell, who had a 92-60 career coaching record. "Andy sets a great example for the younger players with his attitude and work ethic. Overall, he is an excellent example of what a captain should be. Our younger student-athletes look up to him and hope to emulate his success."
Diaz, who is a member of the NCAA Division III Football Playoff Selection Committee, echos Snell's comments.
"It's great for BW to have one of our student-athletes selected for this unique program," said Diaz. "Andy has been a great contributor to our football team, served as one of our captains and an active member of our Center of Innovation & Growth (CIG) Student-Athlete Leadership Colloquium.
"In the CIG Leadership Program, Andy was able to display the qualities necessary to become a successful leader," continued Diaz. "He hopes his career plan will lead him to a position in collegiate athletics, possibly in the strength and conditioning area, so this will be a great opportunity for him to see the inner workings of the NCAA by taking part in many of the activities during the NCAA Convention.
"In addition to a variety of networking opportunities available, Andy will be able to attend the NCAA Division III Issues Forum and the Division III Business Session in which new legislation is discussed and voted on," said Diaz. "He'll get an in-person, on hand-on look at NCAA operations and especially at the NCAA Division III level."