@GonzagaSoccer Alum Earns NCAA’s Highest Honor

Congratulations to Ian Harkes ’13 on receiving the Hermann Trophy, which is presented every year to the top player in college soccer! Scott Waller, Gonzaga soccer’s head coach, attended the award ceremony on January 6.  Watch Ian’s acceptance remarks here:

Ian’s parents, Cindy and John, were also on hand for the event – John, Ian’s father, won the same award in 1987.  Click here to read “Ian Harkes – Like Father, Like Son… Harkes Wins College Soccer’s Top Honor” by Wake Forest University >>

Below, Coach Scott Waller talks about the significance of the award, and what it was like to attend the ceremony with Ian and his parents last week:

“The Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Award is voted on by current NCAA Division I head coaches and presented in St. Louis, MO during the first week of January every year.  Finalists are selected from the top male and female collegiate players in the country. The 2016 recipient is Gonzaga’s class of 2013 Ian Harkes for his outstanding work at Wake Forest this past year.  The MAC Hermann Trophy award is the ultimate award in college soccer.  The Hermann Trophy was the high point of many awards for Ian this season; he was also named ACC Midfielder of the year, ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player, NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Offensive Player, and NSCAA Scholar Player of the year.

ian-harkes-13-with-coach-waller-2017Traveling with Ian Harkes and his family to the Hermann Trophy Award ceremony was amazing. In attendance at the event were soccer legends, current national team players, and some of the best coaches and players in the country.  Ian stayed poised and gracious amidst all the talented players, coaches, and dignitaries.  The evening started with a private social for all the finalists and their guests in a room dedicated to past award recipients. Ian shed any inclination of being nervous and smiled for the photos with the other finalists.  He spent most of the time introducing his grandfather to people as his #1 fan and chatting with his parents; many know his dad’s soccer accolades, but his mother was also an All-American and professional soccer player.  It was great to meet Ian’s college coach from Wake Forest, Bobby Muuss, and recall all the talents Ian brought to the game during his college career and at Gonzaga.

During the press conference and reception following the announcement, Ian handled himself with dignity and humility.  He thanked God, his family, teammates, and coaches during the speeches and in the interviews. Given the talent of the other finalists, he was honestly surprised that he had won.  The whole night Ian expressed his thanks to everyone, signed multiple autographs, and posed for many pictures.

During the flight home the next day, it really began to sink in for Ian.  He had won college’s most coveted soccer award.  What was next?  His name would be enshrined in the Missouri athletic club forever, he was going to be looked at differently by coaches, he is going to be admired by millions of little soccer players. What’s next for Ian?”

Whatever is next for Ian, everyone on Eye Street couldn’t be prouder!  We congratulate him and his parents, and wish them all the best of luck in the future!

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