DENVER – Wednesday night, a host of family, friends and university officials were at the Hilton Denver City Center to celebrate the athletic career of former DU star faceoff specialist, Trevor Baptiste. At the dinner, featuring some of the greatest athletes in the history of the state of Colorado, Baptiste was named the 2018 Male College Athlete of the Year by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
In his acceptance speech, Baptiste thanked his family, his coaches (Coach Tierney was there) and the Denver community as the primary reasons for his success.
Most local lacrosse fans know his story. Born and raised in Denville, New Jersey, Baptiste was headed to play Division III lacrosse at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania when he was discovered by Denver coaches. After a campus visit and discussion with his family, he changed his mind.
The rest is history.
At 5’10”, 210 pounds Baptiste ( the ‘beast’) displayed hand quickness and strength – he could bench press 335 pounds, which helped him to become the best collegiate faceoff specialist in the history of collegiate lacrosse. He won a national championship, four All-American awards, was a two-time Tewaaraton Award finalist and holds career records for faceoffs won and winning percentage at the X.
Baptiste was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft and joined the Boston Cannons in June before winning gold with the United States at the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championship in Netanya, Israel. Baptiste is currently playing for the expansion Philadelphia Wings in the National Lacrosse League. He is also running camps for New Balance and focusing solely on lacrosse while remaining a full-time resident of Denver.
Other award winners and inductees included notables such as standout CU/Bronco running back Phillip Lindsay and Jennifer Kupcho (golf) -Professional Athletes of the Year, Bob Smith (wrestling coach), Marv Kay (Mines football player, coach, administrator), Daniel Graham (tight end Broncos & Patriots) and Missy Franklin (swimmer).