Courtesy of Central Michigan Sports Information Department
MOUNT PLEASANT - Senior women's soccer defender Bailey Brandon has been named the Dick Enberg Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2011-12 academic year.
Brandon, a law and economics major who has earned a 3.94 GPA, becomes the second women's soccer player to earn the award in its six-year history, marking the first time a team has produced multiple award winners. Goalkeeper Shay Mannino earned the award in 2010.
Named in honor of Dick Enberg, a CMU alum and sports broadcasting legend who has long championed academic achievement among student-athletes, the award recognizes the efforts of a junior student-athlete who has maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 3.20 and has excelled in their sport not only as a player, but also as a leader.
She will be recognized at the CMU-Miami (OH) match Friday at 4:30, and also November 3 when the Central Michigan football team takes on Western Michigan.
On the field, she is a three-time All Mid-American Conference honoree, and was a first-team NSCAA Great Lakes Region selection and the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2009. She was a key component of a nationally prominent defense that has led the Chippewas to two MAC regular season and tournament championships in the past three seasons, and is a leader of the 2012 team seeking another conference championship. Her vocal leadership and toughness has been a model for her teammates throughout her career.
Thanks in large part to Brandon's leadership on the defensive back line, the Chippewas have posted eight shutouts and lead the MAC West Division at 7-1, and are 11-4-1 overall. She and the Chippewas are going for a third MAC Championship in four years. She has also scored a goal in the 2012 campaign, giving her three for her career.
Brandon is just as successful in the classroom as in competition, having earned third-team Capital One/CoSIDA All-America honors in 2011 in addition to first-team Academic All-District, third-team NSCAA Scholar All-Central and Academic All-MAC honors. She was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District IV third team in 2010.
In the community, Brandon has been active as a volunteer in the Livonia City Soccer Club, giving back to the organization that ultimately helped her to her current successes. She has been active in the bimonthly food pantry program, the Red Cross food drive, tutoring struggling students, collecting recycled waste across campus and the Safer Sex Patrol program. She has also organized fundraisers to help local elementary schools purchase new computers and technology to be better able to teach the next generation.