Connor Panas has been named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Male Student-Athlete of the Year in a vote of the league’s sports information directors. Panas is the second Canisius baseball player to win the award in the past four years as Sean Jamieson claimed the award in 2011.
“This is a great honor for Connor, our baseball program, our athletic department and Canisius College,” Director of Athletics Bill Maher said. “To have a student-athlete from our baseball program win this award for the second time in four years speaks to the quality of student-athletes that Mike is recruiting while also finding tremendous success on the field.”
“I am extremely proud of Connor's achievement,” coach Mike McRae said. “This award epitomizes the marriage of athletics and academics. Connor’s passion and drive has enabled him to be extremely successful on and off the field. The MAAC has rewarded a very deserving young man.”
Panas claimed a number of awards after a prolific junior season including Louisville Slugger Second-Team All-American, Capital One Academic Second-Team All-American, ABCA Third-Team All-American, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year and ECAC Division I First-Team All-Star. The Toronto, Ontario native also was a unanimous choice to the All-MAAC First Team, a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week, a two-time MAAC Player of the Week and an ABCA Northeast All-Region First-Team selection.
Panas, who has a 3.77 GPA and is majoring in physical education, was third in the MAAC in batting average (.362), first in home runs (six), RBI (51) and slugging percentage (.574), second in doubles (16) and fifth in on-base percentage (.443). The third baseman was one of four players at the Division I level with a .350 batting average, 50 RBI and 15 stolen bases. Panas reached base in 43 of 47 starts, including the final 18 games of the season, and 10 of 19 times in the MAAC Championship. He had a career-long 15-game hitting streak and led the team with 22 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI games.
Canisius posted a 40-16 record en route to winning the 2014 MAAC regular-season title. The Golden Griffins have won at least 40 games in each of the last two seasons, one of 14 teams nationally to post that win total prior to the NCAA Tournament. Canisius also ranks 24th nationally with a .635 winning percentage since 2008.
Canisius women’s lacrosse player Maria Kotas earned honorable mention recognition for the MAAC Female Student-Athlete of the Year award, which was awarded to Kate Avery of Iona College.