Oct. 1, 2009
History of The McCahill Award
MILWAUKEE -- Former Marquette University men's golfer Mike Van Sickle has been named the recipient of the 63rd annual McCahill Award the University announced Thursday.
The Robert L. and William P. McCahill Award is presented annually to a Marquette senior athlete from the previous year who has demonstrated the highest performance in scholarship, leadership and athletics. Van Sickle is the second golfer (Charles Besser, 1972) to be selected.
"There are so many great student-athletes at Marquette and so many great people in our graduating class this past year that to be selected for this award is very humbling," said Van Sickle. "Student-athletes have to be leaders, not just within their team, but within the Marquette community, day in and day out."
Van Sickle, a Wexford, Pa. native, graduated in May 2009 as Marquette's most prolific golfer ever after being named to the PING All-America First Team, the 2009 BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year, recipient of the Byron Nelson Award, one of ten semifinalists for the Ben Hogan Award, and one of eight players named to the United States' Palmer Cup team.
A three-time participant in the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship, Van Sickle helped Marquette to its first BIG EAST Championship in any sport as well as MU's first-ever conference title in men's golf.
"Mike's commitment to excellence was evident in the way he performed on the course and in the classroom, and how he continues to carry himself on a daily basis," said Marquette Athletics Director Steve Cottingham. "He demonstrated the true spirit of a student-athlete during his playing career, while representing the University with class and dignity. Mike exemplifies all of the qualities that determine the McCahill Award recipient."
A broadcast and electronic communications major, Van Sickle received Marquette's institutional award for Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, presented by the BIG EAST Conference, after posting a 3.321 cumulative grade point average over his four years of study. He has been named a BIG EAST Academic All-Star three times, a Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar twice, and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District V Second Team in 2009.
Van Sickle graduated as the all-time Marquette leader in career victories (11), scoring average (71.69), career rounds of par-or-better (86), tournament finish percentage (85.2) and career rounds played (139). He has finished among the top five individually in half of the 48 collegiate events in which he played.
He has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world and No. 2 in the nation by the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking, and recognized as high as No. 6 in the United States and No. 10 in the world by the Golfweek Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking.
The McCahill Award was established in 1946 by the McCahill Family in memory of their son and brother, Marine Captain Robert L. McCahill, a football and track and field student-athlete and graduate of the College of Liberal Arts ('42), who was killed in action in 1945 at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II, earning the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. After the passing of Marine Colonel William P. McCahill, brother of Robert, in 1999, the McCahill Award was amended to honor both brothers. The award is now presented in both men's names.
"It's a great and deserving honor for Mike to be included with such distinguished alumni, and it shows that he was a true student-athlete at Marquette," said head men's golf coach Tim Grogan. "He achieved at the highest level possible athletically, and put forth that same effort in the classroom. Mike is a true leader who facilitated team involvement in the Marquette and Milwaukee communities. As a coach, I'm proud of Mike's accomplishments and what he did for our program and for Marquette University. Today, Mike can definitely be regarded as one of Marquette’s finest."