Rick Collins, a member of the Mount Vernon Nazarene College men's soccer team, has been named the 2000 recipient of the Wittnauer-Kyle Rote, Jr. National Player of the Year award by the National Christian College Athletic Association.
The award, which consists of a trophy and a Wittnauer watch for the recipient and his coach, is given each year to a junior or senior player who excels on the field and in the classroom and exhibits positive leadership qualities.
Collins, a senior midfielder from Pataskala, Ohio, is a third-year captain for the Cougars. The former Watkins Memorial High School standout finished the 2000 season with six goals and eight assists as he helped MVNC to a 16-7-1 overall record and a third-place finish at the NCCAA National Tournament. He was named to the NCCAA East Region Team and the NCCAA All-American Team Second Team.
For his career, Collins recorded 21 goals, 45 assists, and 87 total points. He ranks second in school history in career assists and fifth in career points. He also tied the single-season school record with 17 assists in 1999. During his career, the Cougars posted a 64-28-4 overall record as he started all 96 matches - another school record.
In addition to his accomplishments on the field, Collins has posted a 3.694 grade point average as an International Business/Spanish double major. For his efforts in the classroom, Collins was named to the NCCAA Academic All-American Team as a junior and a senior.
"Rick embodies the spirit of this award," said MVNC head coach Paul Furey. "He is the type of player that every coach ideally recruits but seldom finds. He is a model student-athlete, respected captain, and exemplary Christian. What he gives to the game of soccer, he gives to his studies, and what he gives to his excellence in academics, he gives to his family, friends, and coach."