CCU’s Creel, Kling earn rare postgraduate scholarships

Coastal Carolina University’s Kyle Kling (men’s cross country) and Justin Creel (baseball) are two of 174 student-athletes to receive an NCAA postgraduate scholarship totaling $7,500.

Coastal has never had two student-athletes earn the prestigious honor in the same academic year and have had only three Chanticleers receive NCAA postgraduate scholarship in school history.

Previous CCU recipients include Jack Leasure (Winter 2008, men’s basketball), Brian Dowis (Spring 2006, men’s tennis) and Kara Koppel (Fall 2003, women’s cross country).

“You can see from the select company how prestigious and difficult it is to receive this great honor,” said Coastal Carolina Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek. “To have two individuals win in the same academic year is phenomenal. Kyle and Justin are shining examples of what we as a department strive to do – develop ‘Champions for Life.'”

The NCAA’s postgraduate scholarship winners are awarded each sports season (fall, winter and spring) for a total of 174 recipients for the year. The breakdown consists of 29 male and 29 female student-athletes from Divisions I, II and III combined.

To qualify, student-athletes must excel academically and athletically, be in their final year of eligibility and plan to pursue graduate study. Student-athletes must also maintain at least a 3.2 grade-point average and be nominated by their institution’s faculty athletics representative.

Kling (Louisville, Ohio) graduated cum laude (3.873 GPA) from Coastal Carolina in the spring of 2012 with a degree in marketing. He returned for the fall of 2012 for a final season of cross country competition and is completing a second undergraduate degree in recreation and sport management. Kling was a two-time All-Big South cross country performer, a two-time track and field All-Big South performer – winning the 2011 Big South 1,500 meters, and a three-time cross country Academic All-Big South selection. In addition, Kling was named to the 2011 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I All-Academic team.

Creel (Baton Rouge, La.) graduated summa cum laude from Coastal Carolina with a perfect 4.0 in biology. He was awarded the George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence, the top academic honor given by the Big South Conference, and the President’s Award for Academic Excellence, Coastal Carolina University’s most prestigious honor. Creel was additionally voted third team Academic All-America, the Big South Baseball co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year and baseball Academic All-Big South.

Created in 1964, NCAA postgraduate scholarships promote and encourage education by rewarding the Association’s most accomplished student-athletes.

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