Cumberland University soccer standout Ian Hamilton is the recipient of the 2014 Mid-South Conference Men's Soccer Champions of Character award presented by Forcht Bank, MSC officials announced Wednesday.
Hamilton is a senior goalkeeper from West Chester, Ohio. He has helped the Bulldogs to an 11-6-1 overall record this season and a No. 2 seed in the Mid-South Conference Tournament.
Hamilton believes his focus on his academics and performance on the field has helped him throughout his life. With a 3.66 grade point average in the nursing program at Cumberland, Hamilton has been named to the Dean's List at Cumberland for five semesters. Hamilton also earned Mid-South Conference Scholar Athlete and NAIA Scholar Athlete honors in 2012-13.
When Hamilton is not studying or playing on the pitch, he completes community service hours at 'The Next Step' -- a group which rehabilitate individuals who were formally incarcerated and helps them get back on a path to success. Hamilton also assists with Habitat for Humanity projects and directs traffic at the Journey Church on a weekly basis.
Hamilton values integrity in his daily life while serving as a mentor to anyone he meets.
"My display of integrity, I hope, will steer underclassmen in the right direction," Hamilton said. "Respect, responsibility and servant leadership are also traits I use on a daily basis. Servant leadership is a role I actively show as a student nurse working in some of the most complicated units in a hospital."
Cumberland men's soccer head coach Kyle Smith said Hamilton has the tenacity to exceed normal limitations when working in the nursing program at Cumberland.
"The program challenges Ian's tasks in the classroom," Smith said. "He works late into the night or early in the morning at the hospital and does not complain, but takes pride in his work. Interpersonally he is respectful and personable, and communicates effectively with people."
Hamilton is a person with many intangibles to help him succeed.
"Ian is a person of quality and substance," Smith said. "His commitment to his academic goals is impressive and continues to hold himself to the highest standard."
In addition to his performance in the classroom and hospital, Hamilton was inducted into the Leadership Academy at Cumberland. He is also a committee member of the school's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
"Sports can and should be a setting in which personal character traits including integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership are developed and strengthened," Mid-South Conference Commissioner Eric Ward said.
"Building character through sports is a covenant between our member schools, not just a tagline. All of the nominees and our award recipients are outstanding examples of the commitment to positive character development that our student-athletes, coaches and administrators hold true."
Hamilton was selected by a vote of the Mid-South Conference institution's athletic directors. Other nominees for the Champions of Character Award included Campbellsville's Christopher Moyo, Cumberlands' Logan Smith, Georgetown's Stefan Iverson, Lindsey Wilson's Renan Serafim, Shawnee State's Connor Sherman and St. Catharine's Ashley Woods.
Forcht Bank is the title sponsor of the Mid-South Conference's Champion of Character Award. According to its website, Forcht Bank has over $1 billion in total assets, 30 banking centers in 12 counties, and 300+ employees - making it one of the largest bank groups based in Kentucky.
Forcht Bank's mission is to deliver an easy, simple, faster, and better banking experience to every customer, every day.