Van Ackeren named to Academic All-Star Team
Posted: December 19, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Senior captain Brendan Van Ackeren has been named to the 11th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team, it was announced on Friday at the FCS Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Van Ackeren is one of 43 student-athletes from across the country selected to the team, and the only representative from the entire Patriot League. Each of the nominees were required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 in undergraduate study and have been a starter or key player with legitimate athletic credentials. The nominee must have reached his second year of athletic and academic standing and have completed a minimum of one full academic year at the nominated institution. He must also have participated in 50 percent of the games played at his designated position.
Van Ackeren maintains a 3.48 grade point average as an industrial engineering major at Lehigh. A native of Bethlehem, Van Ackeren is a multi-year member of the Dean’s List and Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Football Team in November. In addition, he was a semifinalist for the 2008 Draddy Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.
Van Ackeren is heavily involved throughout Lehigh’s campus in a number of extracurricular activities, including the Student-Athlete Mentor (SAM) program, Lehigh’s award winning C.O.A.C.H. program, he is a Peer Educator, he serves as the secretary of the Student-Athlete Executive Committee and he served as a student guide for a Board of Trustees Meeting last year.
On the field, Van Ackeren started all 11 games for the Mountain Hawks this past season. He totaled 74 tackles, which ranked third best on the team, to go along with 3.5 tackles-for-loss, one interception, four pass breakups and a forced fumble. Van Ackeren registered double digit tackles in two games, including a career-best 11 in a win over Georgetown, and he closed out his career in the Brown and White with a nine-tackle performance in Lehigh’s 31-15 victory over archrival Lafayette.