Tom Dignard Named Second Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American

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Tom Dignard. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Defenseman Honored for Work in the Classroom

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Defenseman Tom Dignard '10 (Reading, Mass.) of the Yale men's ice hockey team was named second team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America in the at-large category on Tuesday. Dignard, an economics and mathematics major, was a second team collegehockey247.com All-American and helped Yale to an ECAC Hockey championship and an Ivy League championship for the second straight season this past year.

This is the latest in a series of academic honors for Dignard. He was an Academic All-Ivy League selection this past winter, and was an ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year finalist in 2008-09 and nominee in 2009-10. He will earn his fourth ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team selection when those picks are announced later this year. Dignard also was the recipient of the Yale men's hockey team's Edward M. Wright, M.D. Award this year as the team's top scholar-athlete.

Dignard was fourth in the NCAA in points per game among defensemen (six goals, 21 assists in 29 games) this past season. In addition to his All-America honors, he was also first-team All-New England and All-Ivy League. He was a second-team All-ECAC Hockey selection in each of the past two years, and was honorable mention All-Ivy in 2008-09. He also won the Yale's men's hockey team's John Poinier Award as the Bulldogs' top defenseman. Dignard finished his career with 19 goals and 57 assists in 115 games.

Dignard's work contributed to one of the best seasons in Yale hockey history, which dates back to 1895-96. In addition to the ECAC Hockey and Ivy League titles, the Bulldogs also made their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. They picked up their first NCAA Tournament win in 58 years, 3-2 over North Dakota in the Northeast Regional. The Elis were 21-10-3 overall and were ranked No. 6 in the country in the final USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.

Dignard is a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy.

Dignard's path to Academic All-America status began with his selection as first team Academic All-District on May 20. Academic All-District voting is done by the members of College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). There are eight districts throughout the country, with 12 first-team and 10 second-team honorees in District 1 this year. Members of the first team in each district were eligible for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors. A total of 15 student-athletes were named first team Academic All-America, and Dignard was one of 16 second-team selections.

The at-large ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America program includes up to three nominees per school across 12 different men's NCAA sports (fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, volleyball, water polo and wrestling). To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information office.

Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 15,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports. The Yale athletic department has had at least one Academic All-American in each of the last six seasons. Yale has now had 53 selections since 1968.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity