ROCK HILL, S.C. (TheSAC.com) – Carson-Newman's Paul Kirby was voted the South Atlantic Conference Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the League announced today. He earned the honor for his achievements in academics, athletics, service and leadership.
The South Atlantic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is presented annually to one student-athlete in each of the Conference's championship sports, and is voted on by the SAC's Faculty Athletic Representatives Committee.
Kirby, from Goodlettsville, Tenn., finished his career at Carson-Newman with a 4.0 GPA as a biology/pre-med major. A two-time Eagle Scholar, Kirby won the inaugural SAC Baseball Elite 18 honor as he posted the highest GPA at the 2017 Pilot/Flying J SAC Baseball Championship.
"Paul is a true leader on and off of the field, said Carson-Newman head coach Tom Griffin. "He is a great example to his teammates and coaches on how to balance your time with hard work and attention to details. He has a competitive mindset and a servant heart. All of us are proud of him and appreciate all he has done."
He finished the 2017 season with 52 RBI to rank No. 6 in the League. His 112 total bases were good for No. 8 in the SAC, while his 16 doubles placed him at No. 9 in the Conference. Kirby earned AstroTurf SAC Player of the Week honors on April 18 as he posted 12 RBI and a .400 average at the plate to lead the Eagles to a pivotal series sweep of Wingate. His grand slam in the contest against third-seeded Newberry gave the Eagles the go-ahead score to spark a run to finish as the 2017 Pilot/Flying J SAC Baseball Championship runner-up. Named the Eagles' best hitter, Kirby was tabbed as Carson-Newman's top academic athlete.
In the community, Kirby as served as volunteer coach for his hometown Goodlettsville All-Star baseball team that went to the 2013 and 2016 Little League World series. A member of the Tri Beta Honor Society, he has served as a church camp leader at Hollow Baptist Church. Kirby has spent time the Jefferson City schools as reader, while helping the Appalachian Outreach sort donations.
Other Baseball Nominees
Tyler Miller, Anderson
Will Sutton, Coker
Matthew Sullivan, Lenoir-Rhyne
Zack Brown, Mars Hill
Jeff Sneed, Newberry
Bradley Brown, Wingate