ST. CLOUD, Minn. – St. Cloud State redshirt senior defenseman Clark Kuster was selected to the 2019-20 Academic All-America Division I Men’s At-Large Third Team for his work on the ice and in the classroom, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced Friday.
Kuster (St. Louis, Mo.) is the only National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) student-athlete to earn Academic All-America honors this season and one of only five Division I men’s ice hockey players nationally to be named to one of the three Academic All-America teams. The graduate student becomes the NCHC’s first Academic All-American since Denver’s Gabe Levin in 2015-16, while he is the sixth NCHC student-athlete ever to garner Academic All-America honors and second from St. Cloud State (Nic Dowd in 2013-14).
Kuster completed his undergraduate degree in psychology from St. Cloud State University in May of 2019 with a 3.7 grade-point average. This past year he began working towards his master’s degree at SCSU in educational administration and carries a 4.0 GPA. Kuster is a five-time NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete and five-time member of the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team.
Kuster served as an assistant captain for the Huskies this past season, appearing in 27 games, while tallying four points, including his first collegiate goal. He also added three assists in 2019-20. For his career, Kuster suited up in 40 games for SCSU and compiled five points, while winning a pair of Penrose Cups as NCHC regular-season champion.
The Division I Academic All-America Teams are voted on by members of CoSIDA and chosen from the student-athletes on the eight Academic All-District Teams announced back in May. A total of 46 student-athletes across a variety of sports were named to the three Academic All-America squads, with 15 honorees plus ties on each of the First, Second and Third Teams.
The Academic All-America At-Large Teams honor student-athletes in the sports of women’s beach volleyball, women’s bowling, women’s crew/rowing, men’s and women’s fencing, women’s field hockey, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s rifle, men’s and women’s skiing, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s water polo, and men’s wrestling.
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve, have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's games, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, and have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution.
The other NCAA men’s ice hockey student-athletes named Academic All-America in 2019-20 include Cornell’s Morgan Barron and RIT’s Adam Brubacher on the First Team, Minnesota State’s Edwin Hookenson on the Second Team, and Michigan’s Strauss Mann joined Kuster on the Third Team.
The NCHC’s previous Academic All-Americans are Levin, fellow Pioneer Larkin Jacobson (2014-15), North Dakota’s Nick Mattson in 2013-14 and 2014-15, and Dowd.