Matt is the 14th Academic All-American in McMurry school history and the third baseball player honored.
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
The War Hawks have not had an Academic All-America selection since 2008, when baseball played Brent Voorhees was named as a second team pick. Women's basketball standout Tara Richardson was McMurry's last first team selection (also in 2008). Bramer Owens, a designated hitter, is the only other McM baseball player to receive first team Academic All-America recognition.
He was also recently awarded the American Southwest Conference (ASC) Medal of Honor as the War Hawks' top senior student-athlete, combining academics with athletic success. Additionally, he was named to a pair of post-season All-America teams recognizing his athletic prowess: a 3rd team award from the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and honorable mention by D3Baseball.com.
Thompson completed his senior season in 2012 and was signed to a professional contract by the Abilene Prairie Dogs. He is the only player from an ASC school represented on any of the three teams selected.
Thompson had a banner season in shining as, arguably, the ASC's best all-around player in earning first team all-conference accolades. In McMurry's final season as league members (the War Hawks' athletics program moves to NCAA Division II next season), Thompson batted .404 with 43 runs, 36 RBI and 25 extra-base hits. Of the 12 offensive categories listed by the ASC, he ranked in the top five in 10 of them and led the circuit in home runs (9), on-base average (.518) and slugging percentage (.705).
He also had a sterling .991 fielding percentage, committing four errors in 428 total chances. For good measure, he ranked fifth in stolen bases, as well. Thompson earned the ASC West Division's "Player of the Week" award four times during the year.
Thompson is a Business Management major at McMurry, with a concentration on finance. Dr. K.O. Long is the Dean of the School of Business at McMurry. Thompson is also a member of the ASC Academic All-Conference honor roll and an ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete.
"I think that this is the highest honor that a college athlete can receive," McM baseball head coach John Byingtonsaid. "Many athletes shine either on the field or in the classroom. But receiving this award shows the balance that Matt had in excelling in both aspects. It's a great statement on Matt as a person. McMurry baseball stands for excellence on the field and off the field; athletically and in the classroom. Matt truly represents and embodies our philosophy.
"The Academic All-American awards are what college athletics is all about. Matt is certainly a worth and deserving winner. We are all very proud of him."