Broncos lead the MAC with nine academic selections

Contact: Kristin Kerins

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University had more student-athletes than any other school named to the Mid-American Conference's 2017 Men's Soccer Academic All-MAC team, an honor reserved for those who have excelled in both athletics and academics. Broncos made up nine of the 40 students who were recognized from the league's six men's soccer institutions.

Sophomore business student Anthony Bowie, of Grand Rapids, was the only All-MAC eligible student-athlete with a 4.0 grade-point average.  

Other WMU men's soccer Academic All-MAC selections were:

  • Zack Bock, of Novi, a senior who is studying sales and business marketing, 3.98 GPA.
  • Brandon Bye, of Portage, a senior with a double major in food and consumer packaging goods as well as marketing and supply chain management, 3.74 GPA.
  • Tommy Clark, of South Bend, Indiana, a junior studying biomedical sciences, 3.93 GPA.
  • Alex Ruddock, of Caledonia, a redshirt sophomore who is studying pre-business, 3.36 GPA.
  • Jake Rufe, of Huntsville, Alabama, a junior who is studying exercise science, 3.22 GPA.
  • Drew Shepherd, of Ann Arbor, a redshirt senior who is majoring in aviation flight science, 3.32 GPA.
  • Cameron Sipple, of Traverse City, a junior who is studying exercise science, 3.81 GPA.
  • Guiseppe Vitale, of Washington Township, a sophomore who is majoring in biomedical sciences, 3.68 GPA.

All nine Broncos will now be eligible to be voted as Distinguished Scholar-Athletes by the league, an award which began in 2015. Distinguished Scholar-Athletes will be announced later this year.

To earn Academic All-MAC honors, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport. Freshmen and first-year transfer students are not eligible.

A historic season

WMU had the program's most successful season in 2017, finishing with a 17-4-1 overall and undefeated 5-0-0 MAC record. The men's soccer Broncos won their first-ever MAC regular season championship and made an NCAA tournament Sweet 16 appearance after garnering the No. 10 seed and defeating the University of Albany in the second round for their first NCAA tournament win.

The Broncos were ranked in the top 25 in the final 10 consecutive weeks of the season, spending eight weeks in the top 10, and reaching as high as No. 4.

WMU produced the MAC Player of the Year in senior Bye, who also was named a national semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy—the first in school history.

Head coach Chad Wiseman was chosen as MAC Coach of the Year, and he and his staff were named Great Lakes Region Staff of the year by United Soccer Coaches.

A total of eight players, including five on the first team, were named All-MAC.

Learn more about WMU men's soccer at

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