On Wednesday night in Atlanta, Denison senior football and track & field athlete Luke Romick was named the collegiate recipient of the 2016 Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup. Romick was one of five finalists for the prestigious award and was the only finalist from a NCAA Division III institution.
The Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented to the college athlete that best displays character, teamwork and citizenship. The Wooden Cup is open to all college athletes from all divisions in all sports. For this reason, the Wooden Cup is regarded as the highest award in college sports. The award is presented by the organization, Athletes for a Better World.
As the collegiate recipient, Denison University will receive a $2,000 scholarship renewable for four years in Romick's name. $1,000 will also be donated to a charity of Romick's choosing. Joining Romick as a finalist for this year's Wooden Cup was:
- Bonnie Brandon, Swimming, University of Arizona
- Malcolm Brogdon, Basketball, University of Virginia
- Ty Darlington, Football, University of Oklahoma
- Alexa Hone, Soccer, University of South Carolina Upstate
It's been quite a year for Romick. In addition to winning the Wooden Cup, he was also a member of the Allstate/AFCA Good Works Team and was honored at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La. Only 22 student-athletes across all levels of college football were selected to the Allstate/AFCA Good Works Team.
He is the president of Denison's Student Athlete Advisory Council and the president of the North Coast Athletic Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Council, of which he represents the more than 3,500 student-athletes across the conference. A four-year member of the football and track and field teams, Romick recently attended the NCAA Convention in San Antonio, Texas to represent the student athletes of the NCAC's 10-member institutions.
The driving force behind Romick's nomination is his involvement with The Thirst Project, a non-profit aiming to bring clean water to developing countries. He has logged over 1,000 hours of work for The Thirst Project since his first summer as an intern in 2012. Romick began as a social media intern and has risen to a member of the executive staff.
Romick manages events and fundraisers as well as assisting in marketing and operations for the organization. As an intern with The Thirst Project, Romick has co-produced the annual Thirst Gala, held at the Beverly Hilton, which is attended by numerous actors, comedians and musicians. This year, at the fifth annual Thirst Gala, The Thirst Project raised $300,000 in one night and Romick's social media team trended worldwide on twitter at No. 3 during the evening.
In addition to the Thirst Gala, Romick has also co-produced the organization's VidCon exhibit as well as a private gathering of beauty and hair industry elites in Las Vegas. In all, Romick has been a part of nearly $1 million in fundraising to date.
In Granville, Romick leads a chapter of The Thirst Project that boasts over 50 members. Last year's Football Game for Thirst raised an additional $7,000 to provide a clean water supply to nearly 300 people.
On the field, he played in all 40 games during his four years on the Big Red football team. This season, Romick started all 10 games, amassing 47 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss. In his career, he finished with 151 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and five interceptions. He is also a sprinter on the track and field team.
Previous Wooden Citizenship Cup Winners
2015: Madeline Buckley, Soccer (William Smith College)
2014: Dau Jok, Basketball (University of Pennsylvania)
2013: Nathanael Franks, Track & Field (University of Arkansas)
2012: Aleca Hughes, Ice Hockey (Yale University)
2011: Quinton Carter, Football (University of Oklahoma)
2010: Zak Boggs, Soccer (University of South Florida)
2009: Tim Tebow, Football (University of Florida)
2008: Will Bruce, Ice Hockey (Williams College)
2007: Anna Key, Soccer (University of California)
2006: Jacqueline DuBois, Track & Field (University of Oklahoma)
2005: William Betz, Swimming (Brigham Young University)