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WC's Blankespoor Named CSC Academic All-America Committee Chair

WC's Blankespoor Named CSC Academic All-America Committee Chair

ORLANDO, Florida – Wilmington College Director of Athletic Communications Mitch Blankespoor was named Chair of the College Sports Communicators (formerly known as CoSIDA) Academic All-America Committee at the organization's annual convention entitled "CSCUnite2023", which was held on June 11-14.

The Academic All-America program, CSC's flagship, has existed since 1952 and has honored more than 38,000 student-athletes from numerous sports across all divisions with Academic All-America honors. What began as just a single football team, now features 66 contests with 2-3 teams per contest being awarded

"I am honored to continue the long-standing tradition of the Academic All-America program as I believe it is the highest individual honor a student-athlete can achieve," Blankespoor said. "Having spent eight years on the committee and worked with some incredibly talented communicators during that time, I am excited to continue their work as well as put my own stamp on the program."

Blankespoor, who beings a four-year appointment as chair, joined the committee in 2015 and moved into the operations coordinator position prior to the 2019-20 academic year. He has been in the vice chair roll for the last two years, assisting outgoing chair Kevin Lanke with program duties.

"Mitch Blankespoor has a passion for helping students achieve excellence in the classroom and in the athletic realm," Associate Vice President for Athletics at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College Kevin Lanke said. "The College Sports Communicators Academic All-America program will continue to evolve over the next four years, and Mitch is the right leader to navigate these changes and keep the program at its premier level."

As chair, Blankespoor will oversee a committee of 150-plus people, manage a budget of approximately $100,000 and work in tandem with CSC staff to ensure smooth execution of nominations, ballots, voting and releases of the 66 All-Academic All-America teams. During the summer of 2023, he's leading a working group that is examining all aspects of the program.

"The program has continued to evolve throughout its history, and more change is coming as the landscape of collegiate athletics continues to shift," said Blankespoor. "The goal of the Academic All-America Committee – to select and honor the very best student-athletes in the country – will not change."

Chairing a large committee requires a time investment as well as an institution to allow an athletic communications professional that time. Blankespoor is very thankful to Wilmington for the allowing him the flexibility to serve in this roll.

"Wilmington College has always allowed me the resources – both monetarily and in time – to continue my professional development, and this another example of that," he said. "We've had a number of Academic All-Americans during my time on the committee, and I hope to see that number grow in the future!"

The Academic All-America program will begin its 72nd year of honoring student-athletes in the 2023-24 academic year.