CSU-Pueblo's Derrick Williams named RMAC Man of the Year

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Former Colorado State University-Pueblo cross country and track and field standout Derrick Williams (Columbia Falls, Mont.) has been named the 2018-19 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Man of the Year, announced Thursday by the league office.

Established in 2017, the RMAC Man of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their college career in areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership.

As a first-generation college graduate student, Derrick leaves behind a legacy as the most decorated student-athlete in CSU-Pueblo history. Derrick was last year's RMAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year and since then, he maintained a 3.994 grade-point average (GPA) and graduated with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biology (Biomedical Sciences) in Fall 2018.

Derrick transferred from Carroll (Mont.) to CSU-Pueblo in 2013-14 and helped restart the men's cross country and track and field programs. During his time with the Pack, he made 10 trips to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II (DII) national championships, earned 14 All-American honors, which includes posting five Top 3 performances at nationals, and claimed six individual RMAC Championship titles. He also served as the team captain and driving force behind the immediate success of the programs. The ThunderWolves cross country and track and field programs went from defunct in 2013-14 to finishing fourth the last two years in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Program of the Year standings.

Academically, Derrick was a three-time NCAA Elite 90 Award recipient. The award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships. The Columbia Falls, Montana native also amassed three academic All-American honors and six RMAC Academic Athlete of the Year recognitions.

Not only has Derrick excelled as a student-athlete, but he has dedicated the remainder of his time towards making an impact within the Pueblo community.

Since 2013, Derrick signed on to be a student-athlete tutor, contributing four hours a week to help fellow ThunderWolves. In addition, he became a weekly volunteer teacher and tutor at Communities to Build Active STEM Engagement (CBASE) at CSU-Pueblo, a program that strives to increase retention and graduation rates of undergraduate STEM students, with emphasis on students from underrepresented backgrounds (2016-present). Derrick has also been an active teacher and tutor for TRiO Pueblo Community College. This past year, Derrick volunteered at Parkview Medical School, completed a poster presentation for the Institute of Cannabis Research (ICR) conference, and was a weekly respite volunteer and life review producer at a hospice care facility in Pueblo.

To round-out Derrick's college accolades, he was recently named recipient of the 2019 CSU-Pueblo Trelkeld Prize for Excellence. This award is presented to the graduating senior who demonstrates excellence in academic and co-curricular activities, as well as in service to the university and to the community. Derrick plans to continue his education by attending medical school.

Derrick will be recognized at the 2019 RMAC Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet on Friday, July 12 at the Colorado Springs Marriott.