« Men’s Soccer 2019

Garrett McLaughlin

School

Southern Methodist University

Position
Forward
Major
Sport Management
Garrett McLaughlin Finalist

Classroom

Garrett McLaughlin is a sport management major at SMU. He is an outstanding student with a cumulative GPA of 3.36, and his success in the classroom has been recognized multiple times as he has been named to the AAC All-Academic Team twice (2017-18, 2018-19). The AAC also named him to the conference’s weekly honor roll during his freshman year.

Character

McLaughlin’s character is exemplified in his perseverance. After being named a candidate for the MAC Hermann trophy heading into his junior season, McLaughlin suffered a devastating injury that turned him into a shell of himself athletically. He worked all offseason between his junior and senior seasons to return to peak fitness and has battled back to full strength. McLaughlin is widely regarded as a leader of the Mustang soccer team, and his perseverance is the reason why.

Community

McLaughlin has been involved in community engagement before and during his time at SMU. He has volunteered with Futures & Fields, an organization based in his hometown of Oklahoma City. Futures & Fields strives to improve youth playing fields, provide professional development for youth coaches and inspire students to succeed on and off the field. McLaughlin has been involved with the organization since it was founded in 2012.

Another example of McLaughlin’s outstanding community outreach comes in the form of a 10-week soccer camp hosted by Energy Assist, the nonprofit for OKC Energy FC. McLaughlin helped coach at the camp in the summer of 2019 to help teach kids in grades 3-9 about the fundamentals of soccer and teamwork.

Competition

What makes McLaughlin stand out is his competitive edge. As a sophomore, he scored 14 goals and was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-America Third Team, in addition to earning first-team All-AAC honors. Heading into his junior season he was named the AAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and to the MAC Hermann watch list. Despite playing most of the season with an injury, McLaughlin was named a second-team All-AAC selection. As of nomination time, McLaughlin’s 24 career goals are the ninth-most among active players, and his 56 career points are good for 11th best nationally. He has helped lead the Mustangs to two straight American Athletic Conference Championships and NCAA Tournament berths.