Dayton's Beaschler, Leach named to FCA ADA Academic All-Star Team

Monday, January 11, 2016
by Dayton Athletic Media Relations

CLEVELAND – University of Dayton seniors Christopher Beaschler and Danny Leach were named to the 18th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star Team.  The 52-man team was announced by the FCS ADA, today.  UD was one of just nine schools with multiple honorees, and the only team in the Pioneer Football league to have anyone on this year's team.

Additionally, from the Academic All-Star team, 10 finalists were selected for the 15th Annual FCS ADA $5,000 Postgraduate Scholarships.  Two student-athletes will receive postgraduate scholarships during the Association's annual membership meeting held in conjunction with the 2016 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention, being held at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas, June 13-15.

The finalists are Christopher Beaschler, University of Dayton, LB, 3.68 GPA; James Cowser, Southern Utah University, DL, 4.0 GPA; Derek Crittenden, University of Montana, DL, 4.0 GPA; Joe Crochet, The Citadel, DL, 3.81 GPA; Nick Faraci, Robert Morris University, OL, 3.94 GPA; Mark Iannotti, Southern Illinois University, QB, 3.89 GPA; Jacob Judd, Western Illinois University, OL, 3.9 GPA; Jacob Rathmacher, University of Northern Iowa, OL, 3.87 GPA; Stephen Sippel, Cal Poly, OL, 3.84 GPA; and Jake Withnell, Eastern Washington University, TE, 3.91 GPA.

"The FCS ADA is proud to recognize its Academic All-Star Team for the 18th consecutive year," stated FCS ADA President Jeff Tingey, director of athletics, Idaho State University. "It is extremely admirable what our football student-athletes continue to accomplish in the classroom and on the field and we are excited to recognize them for their efforts."

Beaschler was named First Team CoSIDA Academic All-American and the PFL's Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year.  He is just one of two student-athletes in the Pioneer Football League to be named both First Team All-PFL and First Team Academic All-PFL in the last two seasons.

The linebacker from Ada, Ohio led Dayton in tackles for the second straight season (9.3 per game), and was fourth in the PFL.  A 2015 Flyer co-captain, he also led in solo hits (62), and was credited with 8.5 tackles for a loss, four pass break ups, three QB hurries, two sacks, a fumble forced and fumble recovered. 

He had at least 10 tackles five times in 2015 – 18 vs. Robert Morris (the most by UD player in six years), 13 vs. San Diego, 14 vs. Valparaiso, 11 in the PFL-clinching win over Marist and 14 in the playoffs vs. Western Illinois.

Beaschler carries a 3.68 GPA in Mechanical Engineering

Leach, also team co-captain, was a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's Campbell Trophy.  Despite missing three games due to injury, he was second on the team in interceptions (4 for a 28.3 yards per return average).  He also had 45 tackles (29 solo), three passes broken up and a forced fumble.  His 93-yard interception return in the season opener at Robert Morris is the third-longest in UD history.

A safety from Downers Grove, Ill., Leach majors in Leadership.  He has a 3.74 grade point average.  He is a three-time First Team Academic All-PFL selection. 

Football players from all Football Championship Subdivision institutions are eligible for the award. Each of the nominees were required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or key player with legitimate athletics credentials. He must have reached his second year of athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution 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.
A special Review Committee of Football Championship Subdivision athletics directors was responsible for selecting the all-star team and scholarship finalists. Completing this task were Jeff Tingey, Idaho State (chair); Thorr Bjorn, Rhode Island; Bruce McCutcheon, Lafayette; and Mark Wilson, Tennessee Tech.

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