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Betts Named ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year

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ITHACA, N.Y. — Senior forward Kyle Betts of the Cornell men’s hockey team has been named the ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year, the league announced.

The honor is consider the top annual award doled out by ECAC Hockey. Nominees are required to maintain a 3.5 GPA and go above and beyond the already-rigorous role of a student-athlete, volunteering in the community and making an impact as a campus leader. This marks just the fourth time the Big Red has laid claim to the prestigious accolade since its inception in 2007.

While a solid on-ice contributor for a Cornell team that was ranked #1 in the nation at the time of its last game, Betts’ resume as just a student is impressive on its own. An Electrical & Computer Engineering major in the College of Engineering, Betts has sported a GPA 4.0 or higher in all but two of his seven semesters to date. He’s served as a teachers’ assistant, where he’s received rave reviews from both professors and students. Outside the classroom, he’s volunteered in countless endeavors, including the coaches vs. cancer events, a mentor program in the nearby Newfield School District, and a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with the Portel de Belen Foundation.

Kyle Betts is remarkably intelligent and driven to succeed,” said School of Electrical and Computing Engineering Professor David H. Albonesi. “Near the top of his class in one of the most difficult majors in the university; and one of the finest individuals that I have encountered in my academic career.” 

While consideration for on-ice performance was waived this season, due to just four of ECAC Hockey’s 12 programs competing due to the ongoing pandemic, Betts had already cemented his role on the nationally elite Big Red. With 30 points over 93 collegiate games, Betts’ statistics don’t tell much of his true value. He’s proven to be dependable on faceoffs and was frequently tasked with neutralizing the opposition’s most potent forward line.

“Kyle is the definition of commitment as an athlete,” said Mike Schafer ’86, the Jay R. Bloom ’77 Head Coach of Men’s Hockey at Cornell. “I have never had any athlete who trains as hard as he does on a day-to-day basis”.

Betts becomes the program’s fourth winner of the honor and the first since 2014. The other winners were Colin Greening ’10, Keir Ross’12 and Andy Iles ’14. The announcement of Betts’ honor comes a few weeks after his classmate, Devon Facchinato, was named the Mandi Schwartz Student-Athlete of the Year. Cornell now lays claim to both the men’s and women’s Student-Athlete of the Year awards for the first time since ECAC Hockey started the honor in 2007.

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