University of Redlands’ Ross Schunk and Becky Willis Selected as Frank Serrao Student-Athletes of the Year

May 1, 2009 -

Men’s soccer’s senior forward Ross Schunk (Portland, OR) and women’s soccer’s senior midfielder Becky Willis (Escondido, CA) were named the 2009 Frank Serrao Student-Athletes of the Year at the University of Redlands, according to an announcement made today by Director of Athletics Jeff Martinez.

Given in honor of longtime football coach Frank Serrao, this award acknowledges the top male and top female student-athletes who best exemplify strong academic and athletic success at the University of Redlands.

Schunk boasts a 3.365 GPA as an Environmental Studies major and has received honors ranging from the conference to the national level. In 2006 and 2008, his strong academics coupled with superior athletic feats earned him a place on the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team. As a Bulldog student-athlete, he became the most prolific scorer in school history. Schunk set the career program record for goals (63), points (139) and games played (90) while garnering three First-Team All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) honors, two SCIAC Player of the Year awards, three National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas® All-Far West Region laurels and two NSCAA/adidas® All-American nominations, including a First-Team nod in 2008. While donning the Maroon and Gray, he played an integral role on four SCIAC Championship teams and also made an appearance in the NCAA Championships in each of his four years. In January, he was selected with the 47th pick of the Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids, and in March, the team signed him to a professional contract. Despite leaving campus in January, Schunk is working on completing his degree at Redlands and expects to continue competing in MLS.

A gritty competitor on and off of the field, Willis offered an impressive 3.664 GPA as a Communicative Disorders major to supplement her athletic accolades. This Escondido native owns the highest GPA within her major with a 3.98, which earned her the Outstanding Senior Award. She has been a staple on the Dean’s List since 2006 and garnered the prestigious Redlands Scholar-Athlete award in 2008. As a three year starter, Willis claimed three First-Team All-Conference honors, including the Player of the Year award in 2008. Beyond her conference recognitions, she has exploded onto the national scene, first picking up an NSCAA/adidas® Second-Team All-Far West Region distinction in 2006 before gracing the NSCAA/adidas® All-Region First Team in both 2007 and 2008. Following her leadership during the team’s remarkable conference-title run in 2008, she gained a spot on the NSCAA/adidas® All-American First Team. Off the pitch, Willis kept to a disciplined conditioning regimen and was tabbed as a National Strength and Conditioning All-American in 2007 as well as an Iron Bulldog in 2007 and 2008. After graduation, she plans to attend the University of Texas at Dallas where she will pursue her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

Schunk and Willis will be presented with their awards at the University of Redlands honors convocation on Friday, May 22.

Contact: Brian Savard (909) 748-8438 (Phone)

Thurber, an English bulldog, is the University's mascot.

He is named after Clarence Howe Thurber, University president from 1933-37.

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