Troy Hendricks, 2022 GNAC Man of the Year
Congratulations to Troy Hendricks!
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is thrilled to announce Saint Joseph’s College of Maine’s Troy Hendricks (Hiram, Maine / Sacopee Valley) as its 2022 GNAC Man of the Year, it was announced on July 26 by the league office.
This marks the third year the GNAC has crowned its own Man of the Year, as both Hendricks and GNAC Woman of the Year selection Emily Fagundo of Regis College will attend the 2022 GNAC Professional Development Seminar (PDS) on August 11 at Regis to be presented with their respective awards. Hendricks is the second Saint Joseph’s student-athlete to capture the prestigious award, as former men’s soccer standout Noah Robinson ’20 was named as the 2020 co-recipient with Eastern Nazarene College tennis standout Henry Siercke.
Hendricks was one of five finalists along with Couper Gunn of Colby-Sawyer College men’s soccer; Nicholas Sampeck of Dean College men’s basketball; Kevin Vanderhorst of Lasell University men’s basketball; and Matthew Ferrera of Regis College men’s volleyball and men’s outdoor track & field.
Hendricks graduated from SJC with an impressive 3.94 GPA as a Communications major, while starring for the Monks’ cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field programs under head coach Tom Dann. A Hiram, Maine native, Hendricks was an SJC SAAC member and President as a senior, a team captain for all three programs, and an SJC Sports Information intern since 2019.
In three NCAA seasons, Hendricks placed as the Monks’ top finisher in 23 of 24 cross country events and garnered a trio of GNAC Cross Country All-Conference honors. As a standout three-season athlete, he claimed 11 GNAC weekly accolades – seven for cross country and four for track & field) and currently owns seven indoor & outdoor track and field individual records.
During his senior year, Hendricks was the runner-up at the GNAC Cross Country Championship and claimed a pair of second-place finishes in the 2022 GNAC Indoor Track & Field Championships. During the outdoor season, he was the GNAC champion in the 5000-Meter run and 3000-Meter Steeplechase events and earned a runner-up finish in the 1500-Meter run. Hendricks broke the Monks’ 3000-Meter Steeplechase record this spring and became the first SJC athlete to qualify for the NCAA DIII New England Championships in the event.
His volunteer efforts have included Operation Christmas Child, Peer Mentor Program, MLK Jr. Community Service Event, Athletic Director Hiring Committee member, Chief Learning Officer Hiring Committee member, Faculty & Athletics Advisory Committee member, and SJC Indoor Bee Exhibit.
Athletically, the 2022 SJC Male Athlete of the Year and 2022 SJC Athletics Neile Nelson Award recipient owns eight Monks’ track & field records (four in each season) and was the top SJC runner in 23 of 24 races during his career.
Personal Statement: “First I would like to say that I am truly honored to be considered for this award. There are so many hard-working, talented, and impactful student-athletes within the GNAC and I have great pride in being a part of this amazing conference. Now, it wasn’t until halfway through my first year at Saint Joseph’s in 2018-19 that I truly realized the impact people can have on you. Being an athlete, I was lucky to be surrounded by an amazing group of people from the start. If it wasn’t for my cross country teammates and coaches, I really don’t think I would have made it through my first year of college. I was a homesick, undeclared, first-generation college student entering an unfamiliar world. As I moved through my first year, I started to gain some more confidence. SJC started to become more like a home and the people in the community felt more like my family.
At St. Joe’s, we have a ‘Peer Mentor’ program where upperclassmen teach a first-year experience course to the first-year students. They help them settle into college and give them the tools they need to be successful college students in and out of the classroom. I was lucky enough to have a Peer Mentor that was also on my cross country team. I think this was the first person that I met at Saint Joe’s that showed me how much of an impact you can have on the people around you. Mike Mason, my Peer Mentor and XC & TF captain showed me that if you got involved on campus and submerged yourself in the opportunities that are out there, you can truly make a forever impact on the campus and even the world. I wanted to be like Mike.
Inspired by my role model, I set forth during my next three years to do exactly what he inspired me to do. I got involved on campus, I started to step up as a teammate, I became a leader to my team and to the people around the community. I became a Peer Mentor and helped struggling first year students just as my peer mentor helped me. I was named Captain of my cross country (2019-present) and track & field teams (2020-present). I became the one who my teammates could go to when they needed someone. I had a hunger to make an impact, to leave a positive mark on the people around me. This sparked my interest in joining SAAC. While on SAAC, I was able to make an impact within the athletic community and beyond. One of my favorite events that we do each year is Operation Christmas Child. We get all the athletes at SJC to donate toys and various items that then get shipped to children all over the world who aren’t as fortunate to have a Christmas like some children. This example of service just shows the impact individuals can have on the world when they come together as a community.
Now, I know this is supposed to be my personal statement and for half of it I spent talking about my role model Mike. There’s a great quote from Jim Rohn that goes: ‘You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ Mike was one of my five and the four others would probably be my teammates or coach. They are who inspire me, and I know that when I enter the ‘real world,’ I’m prepared to keep thriving to impact others just as Mike, my team, and the SJC community did with me when I needed them.”