Jon Koenigsfeld capped off a stellar Valdosta State career Thursday evening, as he was named the Gulf South Conference Commissioner’s Trophy winner as the conference’s top male student-athlete.
Koenigsfeld became just the fifth Valdosta State student-athlete, and the first since 1997, to earn the league’s highest honor, which is handed out to the top male and female student-athletes at the conclusion of each year.
Koenigsfeld earned the honor after batting .386 and leading the GSC with 90 hits, while helping VSU’s baseball team win the conference title in 2010. A first-team All-GSC honoree, Koenigsfeld was second on the team in doubles with 19, and third in batting average, runs scored (59) and RBIs (47).
“We are extremely happy and proud of Jon,” Valdosta State head coach Greg Guilliams said. “I have said time and again that Jon embodies everything we look for in a student-athlete.”
Koenigsfeld’s success on the field was just a small part of his success at Valdosta State. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in December with a degree in Middle Grades Education. The New Port Richey, Fla. native carried a perfect 4.0 grade point average, and was named the 2010 Dewar College of Education Outstanding Student of the Year. His academic and athletic prowess also earned him a spot on the prestigious ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America first team, just the third VSU athlete to ever earn the honor, and the first since Chris Hatcher did it in 1994. Koenigsfeld also became just the 13th baseball player in GSC history to earn Academic All-GSC honors the maximum three times.
Koenigsfeld also tallied 50 hours of community service during the past year, including 30 hours of mentoring at area schools. He ended the 2009-10 school year repeating as the winner of the VSU Male Student-Athlete of the Year honor.
“As an athletic department and university, we are very proud of what Jon has accomplished,” VSU athletic director Herb Reinhard said. “Jon epitomizes everything that is right about intercollegiate athletics. He is a tremendous representative of student-athletes at Valdosta State and the Gulf South Conference.”
The feelings about Koenigsfeld were echoed across the VSU campus. In making the nomination for the award, Valdosta State President Patrick Schloss said, “Jon Koenigsfeld is a truly remarkable student-athlete and a wonderful representative for Valdosta State University. He has had a wonderful career on the baseball field, has been a tremendous leader in the classroom and has made a very positive contribution to our community through his many hours of community service. Jon is a very positive representative for student-athletes and intercollegiate athletics, and all of Valdosta State is proud that he is a Blazer.”
Meanwhile, Scott Grubbs, who worked closely with Koenigsfeld in his role as coordinator for the Middle Grades Education department for the Dewar College of Education, added, “Jon is the very embodiment of what we aspire for our students to be, not only in the Dewar College of Education, but for the entire institution as well. Jon’s academic, athletic and community success should be an example to all regarding what can happen when we work hard to realize our potential.”
Koenigsfeld becomes the first Blazer to earn the Commissioner’s Trophy since Lance Funderburke and Kathy Kennedy swept the honor in 1997. Other VSU athletes to win the honor include Chris Hatcher, who did it in 1994 and 1995, Bridgette Moore, who repeated as well in 1986 and 1987, and Masa Oreskovic, who teamed with Hatcher to sweep the award for Valdosta State in 1995.