Indianapolis, Indiana - Andisheh Bagheri, a standout senior on the UC San Diego men’s soccer team last fall, was recently awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The prestigious honor adds to an already impressive list of accomplishments both on the field and off for the Davis product out of Davis Senior High School over his Triton career in general and this current 2013-14 academic year in particular.
A central midfielder, Bagheri was named a second-team All-American by both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and Daktronics, as well as to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team following his fourth and final season in a Triton uniform. Returning to the program as a graduate student, he put together a career year, entering with two career goals and producing a team-best 10 goals and two assists for 22 total points. Six of those 10 goals were game-winners, tops in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
Bagheri played a significant role in UCSD’s most successful season since moving up to the NCAA Division II level back in 2000. The Tritons finished the 2013 campaign at 14-3-5 overall and 11-2-3 in the CCAA, achieving their most wins in two decades. They made their first CCAA Championship appearance since 2005 and earned a first NCAA Division II Championship berth since 2003, advancing to the West Region final. UCSD was up to sixth nationally at one point during the regular season, marking its highest ranking in Division II, and finished at No. 9.
Off the field, Bagheri maintained a 3.57 cumulative grade-point average in attaining his undergraduate degree in physiology and neuroscience in June of 2013 as a student at Marshall College, and is already pursuing his graduate degree within the parameters of the contiguous BS/MS program in UCSD’s Division of Biological Sciences. The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship will go toward his Master of Science in biology, which he hopes to complete this July. Bagheri plans on then applying to medical school during the upcoming summer with an intended start date a year or two away, possibly after attempting still to continue his soccer playing career.
“I am very honored to have received this scholarship,” said Bagheri. “It means a lot to me, and speaks for all of the hard work I have put in at UCSD these past few years, both athletically and academically. The University and the soccer team have been a couple of the most important parts of my life, and I could not have received this scholarship without their support. It’s a great way to end my collegiate career.”
“Andi’s been a massive part of this program,” remarked UCSD head coach Jon Pascale. “He had an amazing career, capped off with a great final season during which he was doing his graduate schoolwork. He’s one of the best guys you will ever meet, and he’s a committed student, and has been for the duration of the time that he was here. Andi chose UCSD because of the academics, so it’s great that he is being rewarded with a postgraduate scholarship. He’s the type of guy that will put it to really good use. He embodies the term, ‘student-athlete.’
“I want to be sure to thank (faculty athletics representative) Cliff Kubiak and Noah Jackson (internal operations) for all the work that they have put in to nominate and help Andi get this award.”
“Having Andisheh return this year as a graduate student was critical to the success of our men’s soccer team,” added senior associate athletics director and sport administrator Ken Grosse. “His performance in the classroom has been equally brilliant, and being recognized through receiving this prestigious award provides a fitting conclusion to an exceptional collegiate career.”
The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, with 87 going to men and 87 to women. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically, and who are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.
The one-time grants of $7,500 each are awarded for fall sports, winter sports and spring sports. Each sports season (fall, winter and spring), there are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 scholarships available for women.
Bagheri is the first UCSD student-athlete to be so honored since a Triton trio was recognized by the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee in 2010-11 in swimmer Jessica Ferguson, track and field athlete Kelly Fogarty and tennis player Vincent Nguyen.
A total of 28 student-athletes have now earned the distinction of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship at UC San Diego, which has a rich tradition of both academic and athletic excellence.
NCAA POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP MISSION STATEMENT: The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the Association’s most accomplished student-athletes through their participation in NCAA championship and/or emerging sports. Athletics and academic achievements, as well as campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership, are evaluated. An equitable approach is employed in reviewing each applicant’s nomination form to provide opportunity to all student-athlete nominees to receive the postgraduate award, regardless of sport, division, gender or race. In maintaining the highest broad-based standards in the selection process, the program aims to reward those individuals whose dedication and effort are reflective of those characteristics necessary to succeed and thrive through postgraduate study in an accredited graduate degree program.