May 9, 2005
SKILLMAN, N.J. –
After three years of being recognized for his work on the courts, Florida State University men’s tennis player Mat Cloer was rewarded for his accolades away from the game. On Monday (May 9), the senior added to his trophy case the ITA/Mideast Region Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship as announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
The Arthur Ashe Awards is given to the player who has exhibits outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements. Winner of the Mideast Regional award, Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) will not compete against the winners of the seven other regions for the national honor.
“There were a lot of well deserving players up for this award from our region and I feel very honored to be selected,” Cloer said. “You have to give back to the community that has given you so much and that’s what I’ve tried to do. I try to lead by example on and off the court and I think that’s rubbed off this year and the result has been how well we’ve played as a team this year.”
For his career, Cloer has volunteered over 100 hours of community service with more than 40 just in the fall semester. Much his volunteer hours have been with the Tallahassee chapter of the USTA, participating in clinics for their Special Olympics, “First Serve”, and home school programs. Cloer has also volunteered for hurricane victim relief and spoken as school assemblies. This semester was a strong one for him in the classroom as he posted a 3.4 grade point average.
On the court he has established himself as one of the best players in Florida State and Atlantic Coast Conference history. A two-time ACC Player of the Year, last month he earned his third All-ACC honor. Currently he ranks fourth in school history with his 82 singles wins, while his 148 combined wins is fifth and the 66 doubles triumphs he has amassed are ninth.
“Not only has Mat distinguished himself as a great player, but around the country he is regarded as very fair with his calls and handles himself with class on the court,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “He’s done a lot of community service and he’s really made an effort to reach out to the community. I think Mat really conveys to the other guys that you can’t take anything for granted, he’s gotten a lot of awards, but he has an attitude of giving back.”
Cloer has now won two of the three ITA regional awards handed out to FSU since the organization began its award program in 2001. The following year he was named the Mideast Region Player to Watch and former Hultquist aide Ty Braswell was named ITA Mideast Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2003.
In addition to wining the Arthur Ashe Award, Cloer received good news last week when it was announced that he would be making his third trip to the NCAA singles tournament. Currently ranked 26th in the country in singles and No. 40 in doubles with Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.), he is the only player in school history to make three trips to the singles draw. The entire Florida State squad will take the court on Saturday (May 14) when the Seminoles face Ball State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Lexington, Ky.