Largest Graduating Class in UK Athletics History

Largest Graduating Class in UK Athletics History

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A total of 114 current and former University of Kentucky student-athletes – the largest graduating class in school history – are on track to complete academic requirements this week or in the summer term. 
The graduates will take part in the University’s Spring Commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday in Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center (see information here). Adding the 21 student-athletes who graduated in December, UK Athletics is expected to have 135 graduates during the 2021-22 school year.
Included in the graduates are 11 Wildcats who are completing their master’s degrees – Davion Mintz from men’s basketball; Luke Fortner, Matt Ruffolo and Quintin Wilson from football; Jacob Cook and Zach Norris from men’s golf; Marissa Bosco from women’s soccer; Lauren Johnson from softball; Myles Anders and Kenroy Williams from men’s track and field; and Molly Leppelmeier from women’s track and field.  Fortner will receive master’s degrees in two fields of study, aerospace engineering and business administration.
UK’s graduating class also has excelled in the arenas of competition.  While at Kentucky, the graduates have been part of three NCAA Championships, nine conference championships and five conference tournament championships.  A total of 17 grads have earned All-America honors while at Kentucky and 25 have gained all-conference recognition.
In the 2021-22 school year, this class has sparked UK Athletics to a current ranking of No. 8 in the nation (among 358 Division I schools) in the NACDA Directors’ Cup all-sports standings.  The Wildcats are first among SEC schools in the Directors’ Cup.
“With the variety of issues in college athletics today, education and competitive excellence remain the heartbeat of what we do,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “I am very proud of the 114 graduates who will take the next steps in their lives on the foundation of their time at Kentucky.  We continue to emphasize the principle of students giving us four years and we will give them the next 40.  In addition to academic achievement, their ability to balance excellence in the competitive arena shows the incredible discipline, intelligence and heart it takes to be a student-athlete at the highest level.” 
Wildcat fans will continue to see many of these graduates on their respective fields of play in 2022-23 as numerous student-athletes have remaining eligibility and will return to represent UK while attending graduate school or completing additional undergraduate certifications.
Below is the list of expected graduates:
Oraj Anu
Tyler Bosma
Alex Degen
Adam Fogel
Sean Harney
Daniel Harris IV
Hunter Jump
Zack Lee
Kirk Liebert
Jacob Plastiak
Alonzo Rubalcaba
John Thrasher
Darren Williams
Men’s Basketball
Brennan Canada
Kellan Grady
Davion Mintz – master’s degree
Zan Payne
Women’s Basketball
Robyn Benton
Blair Green
Rhyne Howard
Jazmine Massengill
Olivia Owens
Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald
Tyrell Ajian
Brenden Bates
Eli Cox
Darren Edmond
Braxton Eiserman
Luke Fortner – two master’s degrees
Will Nalty
Chris Rodriguez
Matt Ruffolo – master’s degree
Keaton Upshaw
Quintin Wilson – master’s degree
Men’s Golf
Jacob Cook – master’s degree
Jay Kirchdorfer
Zach Norris – master’s degree
Women’s Golf
Ryan Bender
Sarah Fite
Casey Ott
Anna Haigis
Arianna Patterson
Richard Clark
Mason Hamilton
Will Shaner
Men’s Soccer
Luke Andrews
Kalil ElMedkhar
Daniel Evans
Cole Guindon
Clay Holstad
Brock Lindow
Ryan Troutman
Mason Visconti
Ben Wendell
Women’s Soccer
Marissa Bosco – master’s degree
Bailey Locke
Sophie Manchin
Gretchen Mills
Mary Moffitt
Peyton Rimko
Sarah Siekkinen
Renee Abernathy
Jaci Babbs
Emma Boitnott
Lauren Johnson – master’s degree
Kayla Kowalik
Jordan Marion
Jordan Redding
Men’s Swimming and Diving
Kyle Barker
Daniel Blake
Mason Wilby
Women’s Swimming and Diving
Emily Baeth
Caitlin Brooks
Riley Gaines
Izzy Gati
Parker Herren
Kyndal Knight
Lauren Poole
Kelly Rodriguez
Sophie Sorenson
Caroline Szydlowski
Men’s Tennis
Millen Hurrion
Women’s Tennis
Carla Girbau
Men’s Track and Field/Cross Country
Myles Anders – master’s degree
Nathan Bann
Jacob Brizendine
Tai Brown
Cameron Council
Joe Jardine
Rahman Minor
Matt Peare
Patrick Schaefer
Jacob Smith
Josh Sobota
Gabe Szalay
Trevor Warren
Kenroy Williams – master’s degree
Lincoln Young
Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country
Perri Bockrath
Rachel Boice
Sophie Carrier
Amaya Chadwick
Jenna Gearing
Alexis Holmes
Kaitlyn Lacy
Molly Leppelmeier – master’s degree
Sarah Michels
Masai Russell
Abby Steiner
Siobhan Szerencsits
Kelli Walsh
Cameron Scheitzach
Alli Stumler
Lauren Tharp
Graduation marks yet another milestone of academic success for UK student-athletes. Guided by UK Athletics’ Student-Athlete Experience Division, Wildcat student-athletes have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of better than 3.0 in 19 consecutive semesters, with grades for the spring semester set to be finalized next week. In November, UK student-athletes broke the school record for the Federal Graduation Rate and tied the school record for NCAA Graduation Success Rate.


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