Panas '15 Makes MAAC History
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Canisius baseball standout Connor Panas has been named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Male Student-Athlete of the Year in a vote of the league’s sports information directors. Panas, who also won this award after the 2013-14 academic year, is just the third male in conference history to earn the honor in back-to-back years.
“Being named MAAC Student-Athlete of the Year for a second consecutive year is truly an outstanding accomplishment for Connor and the Canisius community is exceptionally proud to have him as a Golden Grifffin alumnus,” Canisius Director of Athletics Bill Maher said. “Knowing the effort that Connor put into his academic and athletic career at Canisius, this recognition has defined a new level of achievement that all of our student-athletes can now strive to achieve. I cannot think of a finer representative for all that Canisius College stands for than Connor Panas.”
Panas, a 2015 American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings NCAA Division I All-America Third-Team choice and the 2015 MAAC Championship MVP, closed out his senior year at Canisius by batting .372 with 17 doubles, seven triples, 11 home runs, 68 RBI and 65 runs scored, while helping the program to its second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three seasons. An All-MAAC First-Team selection, the Toronto native led the conference in five different offensive categories and he became the second player in program history to earn MAAC Championship MVP accolades after he hit .500 (13-for-26) with three extra-base hits, 10 runs scored and 12 RBI in six games during the conference tournament. For the season, he posted a .632 slugging percentage, a .472 on-base percentage and he ended the year ranked fifth in the MAAC with 19 stolen bases on 24 attempts.
On May 30, Panas became the first player in program history to hit a home run in an NCAA Tournament game when he went yard in the top of the first inning against No. 8 Missouri State. In the classroom, Panas earned his undergraduate degree in physical and health education from the College in May after he posted a 3.80 grade point average. A three-time MAAC All-Academic honoree, Panas became just the second player in program history to earn CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America status in back-to-back years, earning first-team honors in 2015.
“This award is a tremendous honor bestowed upon Connor,” Canisius head baseball coach Mike McRae said. “This award clearly reflects his dedication both on and off the field. We are extremely proud of Connor’s accomplishments during his storied career here at Canisius. He is truly worthy of this prestigious award.”
On June 9, Panas was chosen with the 17th pick in the ninth round (272nd overall) of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, making him the highest draft pick for the Canisius baseball program since 1994. He is currently playing for the Vancouver Canadians, the Class-A affiliate of the Blue Jays in the Northwest League.
Click here to read this story in its entirety.