KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced today that Caleb McLean, a national champion in track and field and music major at Wayland Baptist (Texas) University, has been selected to receive the 2011 NAIA Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award. The award is named after Dr. Walker, President emeritus of the United States Olympic Committee who served as president through the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games. Dr. Walker is a graduate of Benedict College (S.C.) and a former president of the NAIA.
The 22-year-old senior from Fort Worth Texas, is a standout student-athlete excelling in the classroom and on the track as a member of the Pioneers men’s indoor and outdoor teams. A talented and gifted musician McLean will earn a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and will serve as a leader as he travels his life road beyond the walls of Wayland Baptist and outside the lanes of NAIA competition.
McLean, who has become an extraordinary example of how to approach academic and athletic excellence, is well known for his accomplishments on the track, among them: 2010 Outdoor National Champion (team); 2010 NAIA Indoor National Champion (4×400M relay); and NAIA All-American on multiple occasions. He has been recognized with the UPS Scholarship, Spinning Wheel Award, Pioneer Scholarship and Rookie of the Year honors for International Choir. He is also a member of the Wayland Baptist Dean’s List and this past fall carried a lead role in production of the Big Bad Wolf. He is currently a founding member of the new gospel choir formed by student volunteers and will tour with the group leading worship in various venues across the Plainview community. His academic and athletic performance is setting the bar for future students at an extremely high level.
Asked if participating in sports helps with other aspects of his life, McLean says he believes that it does.
“Winning the team NAIA Championship last year was a dream come true, and so far it’s been the zenith of my college career, but winning it would not have been possible without a lot of hard work and responsibility – to myself, my school and to my teammates.”
“The definition of servant leadership is personified by Caleb’s many actions,” said associate head coach Rohn Thompson, who nominated McLean. “When Caleb arrived on campus, he was the first person to practice, the hardest competitor on the track and perhaps the most important thing of all, the biggest believer among all the athletes.”
“Caleb is the kind of man that both Wayland and the NAIA can be proud of,” added Dr. Ann Stutes, Dean of the School of Music. “Caleb’s music professors and his coaches continue to marvel at his ability to negotiate his complex calendar of work-outs, travel to competition, rehearsals, practicing, concert events and studying.”
McLean was selected as the national winner of the Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award from an outstanding list of conference award winners. He will be recognized at the NAIA Awards Dinner held in conjunction with the 2012 NAIA Convention in Newport Beach, Calif. April 12-16. By recognizing outstanding student-athletes who set the standard with their approach in and out of competition, the NAIA furthers its mission to advance character-driven intercollegiate athletics. To learn more about the NAIA visit www.naia.org.