LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky senior Troy Squires is the winner of the prestigious 2018 Senior CLASS Award, it was announced on Friday. The award honors seniors who excel both on and off the field of play.
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: community, classroom, 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.
Squires, a 5-foot-11, 200-pounder from Elizabethtown, Ky., recently was inducted into Kentucky Athletics’ Frank G. Ham Society of Character, which honors Wildcats who have shown an extraordinary commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model.
“It’s an honor to receive the Senior CLASS Award,” said Squires, who is UK’s first-ever Senior CLASS Award winner in any sport. “It may be cliché to say, but it took hard work and a lot of patience. Going from not really playing much my first years in the program to playing every day doesn’t happen overnight, and I hope young kids and prospects see that patience is key. I was fortunate enough to wear the letter of my home state across my chest during my college career, and being a kid growing up in Kentucky, that’s all you ever really want. I can’t express the amount of love and thankfulness I have toward my family for allowing me to live a dream.”
A testament to commitment and hard work, Squires was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 23rd round of the Major League Draft earlier this month after arriving at UK as a walk-on infielder before switching to catcher. He will leave ranking third in career sacrifices (35), ninth in career hit by pitch (30) and with both the fourth and fifth-best single-season sacrifices marks (14, 2018 and 13, 2017). Earlier this season was named National and Southeastern Conference Player of the Week for his performance in a career week that culminated in a series win over No. 3 Texas Tech. He also was a Second-Team All-SEC selection on 2017, his first as a full-time starter.
“I couldn’t think of a person more deserving of this award than Troy. The example he has set in our program won’t soon be forgotten, and we are thrilled for him and his family and proud of how he will represent the Senior CLASS Award program,” UK coach Nick Mingione said. “Troy embodies everything you look for in a student-athlete. He earned his undergraduate degree in four years and is on target to get his master’s. He has dedicated countless hours to serving the community. He arrived as an infielder and turned himself into an all-conference catcher through hard work and commitment. It speaks to his character, perseverance and servant’s heart.”
As dedicated as he was to making an impact on the field throughout his time at UK, Squires also displayed a drive for excellence in both the classroom and community. A four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, Squires completed his undergraduate degree in communications and is currently pursuing a master’s in sports leadership. He also played a positive role in the UK and Lexington communities, participating in community service programs with the UK Children’s Hospital, Bluegrass Miracle League, Hope Center, Salvation Army, Louisiana Flood Relief and more.
“We’re very pleased that Troy Squires was voted as our baseball Senior CLASS Award this season,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “He has worked hard for the success he has earned, and his dedication to being a well-rounded student-athlete will continue to take him far in whatever path he chooses. Our congratulations to Troy, his team and to the University of Kentucky.”