Eric Quigley Named Mr. Wildcat at Ninth-Annual CATSPY Awards
LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky men's tennis junior Eric Quigley was named Mr. Wildcat at the ninth-annual CATSPY Awards ceremony Monday, marking the second time in the last three years that the award has gone to a member of the UK men's tennis team.
The Mr. and Miss Wildcat Awards are given for all-around excellence in athletics, academics, character and service. Quigley was the lone recipient of the Mr. Wildcat award, while volleyball's Lauren Rapp and Megan Yocke of softball were co-winners of Miss Wildcat.
"Eric is very deserving of this award," said UK head coach Dennis Emery, who was nominated for Coach of the Year at the event. "He represents this program and this university with exactly the right amount of competitive spirit and class. He is a very hard worker, who truly earns all the success that he has gathered. This is no sense of entitlement in his nature. Of course we are very proud that he won this award because someone like me, who bleeds blue, understands what it means to be selected for this award."
Quigley has represented the Kentucky program well on and off the court in his three years on campus. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., is on pace to break the all-time singles wins record at UK, while also coming close the past two seasons to breaking the record for most singles wins in a single season.
"Being named Mr. Wildcat is such an honor for me and my family," Quigley said after the awards ceremony Monday night. "There are a lot of athletes here at Kentucky that work hard to represent this university everyday and it means the world to me that I was the one who was chosen for this award. I just want to thank my coaches and teammates for helping me and working hard with me to achieve our goals."
So far this season, Quigley is 43-11 in singles action, including a 21-7 mark in dual matches. The junior has an incredible 29 wins over ranked opponents, including two wins over then-No. 1 JP Smith of Tennessee and a win over No. 3 Blaz Rola of Ohio State. Last weekend, Quigley earned a win over No. 31 Javier Garrapiz of Georgia, clinching UK's second ever final appearance in the Southeastern Conference Tournament and it's first since the 1992 season. Quigley has a total of 116 wins all time at UK.
Off the court, Quigley has helped with several QuickStart tennis clinics, while also working with God's Pantry in Lexington. Last Christmas, Quigley helped coordinate a therapeutic recreation Christmas party for special needs children. Quigley has also performed well in the classroom, majoring in Community Communications and Leadership Development
The Kentucky men's tennis team has now had two winners of the prestigious Mr. Wildcat award. Bruno Agostinelli was the first men's tennis representative, taking home the honor in 2009.
The CATSPY Awards were introduced at UK in 2003, when athletics director Mitch Barnhart shared his desire to celebrate and honor the academic, athletic and community excellence achieved by all UK student-athletes. It was emulated from the well-known ESPY Awards. This annual event has become the highlight and finale of each academic year and features student-athletes from all 22 sports.
A photo gallery from the event, featuring Quigley and the men's tennis team's representatives can be found above.
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