RPI’s Brock Higgs wins the 2014 Senior CLASS Award in men’s hockey

April 10, 2014

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute forward Brock Higgs has been selected as the 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award® winner in NCAA® Division I men’s hockey.

The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men’s hockey coaches, national hockey media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men’s hockey. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, community, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

As a freshman, Higgs suffered a freak injury when a teammate’s skate sliced his neck. The blade narrowly missed Higgs’s jugular vein. After missing only three weeks, he finished the season. He said he learned through his experience to make the most of what he was given.

“If there’s one thing I learned from my accident freshman year, it is that you cannot overlook the smallest details for anything in life because you never know if you’ll have an opportunity to meet them again down the road,” said Higgs. “It’s about taking it one day at a time because really you never know what you’re going to meet tomorrow, so why worry about it while today passes you by. I found a lot more enjoyment out of everything, especially my sport, when I followed this and I feel others would too.”

Higgs will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business and management as well as a master’s degree in management. He has been on the Dean’s List every semester and earned ECAC Hockey academic honors multiple times. The Ontario native has been active in the community, assisting with local youth hockey teams, Habitat for Humanity, the United Way and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

“I am thrilled to see Brock earn the Senior CLASS Award,” said RPI head coach Seth Appert. “He is a great example of what it truly means to be a Rensselaer student-athlete and how to make the most of your collegiate experience.”

Higgs played in all 37 games as a senior and set career highs with 14 goals and 30 points, second on his team. He was first in shorthanded goals and penalty minutes. The Engineers finished the season with a 15-16-6 record.

“After overcoming a potentially life-threatening injury his first year, Brock has completed a four-year career in which he saw steady improvement each season,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “The injury changed his perspective and allowed Brock the chance to approach each day with a positive and grateful attitude, which showed up in his involvement in the community.”

Hockey 2013-14 Winner

Name Position School
Brock Higgs Forward Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

First Team

Name Position School
Sam Brittain Goaltender Denver
Greg Carey Wing St. Lawrence
Kyle Gibbons Forward Canisius
Andy Iles Goaltender Cornell

Second Team

Name Position School
Scott Czarnowczan Defenseman Ferris State
Cole Ikkala Forward Union (N.Y.)
Dennis Robertson Defense Brown
Ryan Walters Left wing Nebraska Omaha
Matt Zarbo Forward Clarkson