FORT MYERS, Florida. – The Suncoast Credit Union FGCU Athletics Athletes of the Month for January have been announced with Haley Yerxa (Ottawa, Ontario/Hillcrest) of the women’s golf program and Brian Ellis (Oviedo, FL/Hagerty HS) baseball win honor.

A female and a male Eagle are chosen as Scholar-Athlete of the Month in FGCU athletics throughout the academic year. Selection factors for honor include a combination of significant athletic and overall success. Kerstie Phills of women’s basketball and Osman Humeida of men’s cross country picked up the accolades for the month of December.

Yerxa had a strong fall campaign highlighted by winning the 44and Annual Pat Bradley Invitational with a 12and-final place in the Jupiter Women’s Invitational. Since the start of the spring portion of the program, she has also posted a third-place finish more recently at the First Coast Classic. For the season, Yerxa ranks second on the team in scoring average at 73.40 strokes per round, including a low round of 69 at the Pat Bradley Invite.

In class, Yerxa has a perfect 4.0 grade point average as a software engineering major. The redshirt junior was named a WGCA All-American Scholar last spring. She was a member of the President’s List, Dean’s List, AD Honor Roll, and ASUN Commissioner’s Honor Roll during her time at FGCU. Yerxa was also an inaugural member of the EAGLE Leadership Institute and a member of the Eagles Council (SAAC) where she currently serves as Vice President. In 2019, she took 2nd place at the 2019 Hertz Hackathon and was a Cooperative Student Software Developer for BlackBerry as well as a Junior Software Developer for Bell. She is currently Junior Data Scientist for HELUX. Additionally, she serves as an academic tutor while volunteering with several community organizations such as the Gulf Coast Humane Society, Salvation Army, and Octagon.

“Haley is truly having an outstanding year on the course and has always been an excellent student,” the head coach said. Sarah Trew. “To see her have this level of success makes us all proud, as it reflects her hard work and dedication to both golf and her studies.”

Ellis was a mainstay in the baseball program during his career and helped the Eagles get off to a 2-2 start after splitting with Cincinnati. He was previously named to the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award (BBCSA) Watch List, which is based on on-set performance, academics and personal integrity.

Ellis, the first-team captain in FGCU history, is coming off a stellar 2021 season in which he was named to the All-ASUN First Team after cutting .361 / .489 / .475 with 31 RBI and 45 runs scored. He started every game in the outfield and hit the opener, setting the tone for every contest, getting on base in nearly half of his at-bats as he is currently the NCAA’s active leader in percentage. base at 0.494. He also used his speed to steal seven bases and roam the outfield for a .983 save percentage.

Beginning his career as an extra, the red-shirted junior has become one of the best players not only in ASUN but also in the country. Ellis is also always ready to help the community as he has volunteered over 80 hours of community service with several organizations. He is a member of the Eagles Council (SAAC) and is also part of the EAGLE Leadership Institute.

“Brian had a great opening weekend; he continues to do special things on the field, in the community and in the classroom,” the head coach said. Dave Tollet. “He’s the first captain I’ve had in 33 years as a head coach, which I think says a lot about the type of person he is. Brian really deserves this award.”

In the classroom, Ellis also excels, having already earned her undergraduate degree in health sciences with a GPA of 3.79. He is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Health Services Administration where he has a 4.0 GPA.


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FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 87 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles have brought together 43 teams or individuals competing in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs ranked in the top 25 nationally in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (#25, 2021-22), beach volleyball (#20, 2021) and men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s football. (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Vert et Bleu posted the department’s best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and Florida State’s top seven teams won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progression in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 classroom GPA in the fall 2020 semester and outperformed the general undergraduate college population for 24 consecutive semesters. The Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters each saw another milestone achieved, with all 15 programs achieving a team GPA of 3.0 or higher in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.