For Hobart senior and offensive lineman Brian Monaco, academics and athletics are inseparable.
Recently named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District I first team for the third consecutive season, and named to the 2009 Academic All-American First Team, Monaco says that “being a student athlete is very challenging. There is definitely a lot to think about at once.”
But like many HWS student athletes, he has found that for success in his academics and athletics, he must treat both with the same level of discipline.
A biology major, Dean’s List student, Druid (Hobart’s senior class honor society) and member of the Chimera (junior class) and Orange Key (sophomore class) honor societies, Monaco says, “I try to bring the same competitive, team work and leadership mentality I have on the football field and in the weight room into the classroom. On the field, I am working with my team against the opposing team, and in the classroom I am working with my class against the material. By addressing each activity in this way I have been able to improve in both.”
Because of his commitment to and success in the classroom and on the field, the National Football Foundation named Monaco one of the 154 semifinalists for the 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes exceptional academic accomplishment, outstanding football ability, and strong leadership and citizenship.
“Brian’s academic success demonstrates his commitment and investment in the learning process,” said Kristy Kenyon, an assistant professor of biology. “His actions often inspire those around him to rise to his level of engagement and enthusiasm. Brian is to be commended for his achievements on the field and in the classroom.”
Balancing workouts, practices and games with classes, labs, homework and a social life can be tough, but Monaco says, “The important thing that I have learned is to keep focused on the task at hand. It can be very easy to get distracted with so many things going on around you. Keeping focused not only allows me to get things done, but allows me to know when the time to have fun is. It is important to give yourself rest and have fun so you don’t get burned out. Time management is really everything; it is about weighing what is most important to you in the long run and then dividing up the time accordingly while giving each thing your all.”
The first Hobart football player to be named a first team Academic All-American (2008), Monaco earned the Gordon L. Richardson ’33 Memorial Prize, given to a Hobart pre-med student in his junior year with strong academic credentials and concern for humankind. He is a Presidential Leadership Scholar and earned the 2007 Druid Award for Character. He is the recipient of the Herman Goldman Foundation Scholarship.
One of two captains for this year’s football squad, Monaco is a three-year starter, a three-time Liberty League All-Academic Team member and a two-time All-Liberty League selection. He helped the Statesmen win three consecutive Liberty League Championships and make three straight NCAA Playoff appearances. This season, Monaco was a leader on the line that helped the Statesmen lead the Liberty League third down conversion (43.2%) and rank third in rushing (162.4 yds/g), sacks allowed (14) and fourth down conversion (56%).
As a first team All-District selection, he will be on the ballot for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America teams.
Active in the campus community, Monaco is a biology teaching fellow on campus, a member of the Health Professions Club and has served as a member of Hobart’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He has also volunteered with the Geneva Boxing Club and at Sisters of Charity Hospital Surgery Center, which has helped him define his goals after HWS.
“I plan to attend Medical school next fall,” says Monaco, who has hopes of becoming a surgeon in the future. “My four years at HWS have really increased my desire to attend medical school. Through my biology major, health professions minor and internships, my curiosity about science and healthcare have only increased as I have learned more.”