Jannik Loebe (center) with Fordham University president Father. Joseph McShane, S.J. and Director of Athletics Dave Roach (Photo courtesy of Fordham Athletics)
BRONX — Fordham University senior forward Jannik Loebe was honored as the recipient of the Vincent T. Lombardi Award as the school’s top male student-athlete at the 84th annual Block F Awards Dinner in the Rose Hill Gym Wednesday night.
Head men’s soccer coach Jim McElderry received the Iron Major Award as Fordham’s coach of the year.
The Lombardi Award is presented to the male athlete of the year for distinguished athletic achievements in the winning tradition of Vince Lombardi. The award honors the memory of one of Fordham’s famed Seven Blocks of Granite, who is considered to be one of football’s greatest coaches.
A third team All-Midwest region and first team All-Atlantic 10 selection for the second consecutive year, Loebe appeared in all 23 games for the Rams in 2017, starting 22. He led the side with nine goals, with two game-winners, and was second on the team in assists (4), and points (22). Loebe tied for fifth in the Atlantic 10 in goals per gamegame, was eighth in points and led the Rams to a program-best 14 wins last fall.
Loebe saved his best for the postseason as he became only the second player in Atlantic 10 history to be named to the Atlantic 10 All-Championship Team four years in a row. He helped Fordham to one of its best seasons as the Rams advanced to the final eight at the NCAA Division I tournament. Loebe was Fordham’s top scorer in the competition with three goals and an assist in four games.
Loebe will graduate among Fordham’s all-time leaders in games played (82 – 2nd), games started (80 – 2nd), points (63 – 6th), goals (25 – 7th), and assists (13 – 11th).
McElderry won the Iron Major award as the Fordham coach of the year for the second consecutive year and for the third time over the past four years. He guided the men’s soccer squad to unprecedented success in 2017 as the Rams not only received the school’s first at-large bid to the NCAA tournament but advanced to the final eight of the tournament, the furthest a Fordham men’s team has advanced in the NCAAs. He had eight players earn All-Atlantic 10 honors while the team finished the year ranked in the top 12 teams in the nation and won a program-record 14 games.
Chris Bazzini won the the Terence O’Donnell Memorial Award, which is presented to the Fordham athlete that best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, loyalty, dedication and self-discipline. The award is in memory of Terry O’Donnell, a 1955 graduate who died in a military plane crash shortly after graduation.
Bazzini, a team captain and four-year member of the Fordham soccer team, helped the Fordham defense rank 17th in the NCAA in shutout percentage and 25th in goals-against average and was a member of two Atlantic 10 Championship teams and three NCAA Championship squads.
Named a Leader of Merit from the Fordham Athletics Leadership Academy in 2017, Bazzini is Fordham’s nominee for the Atlantic 10 postgraduate scholarship.
“Chris has been an integral part of our success at Fordham from the minute he stepped on campus in 2014,” McElderry said. “He arrived as a non-scholarship student-athlete but by the end of that preseason he earned the starting position and has gone on to appear in 74 games. Chris leads by example, plays the game with intensity, competes at all times and is willing to do whatever the team needs of him. He has always sacrificed individual accolades in order for our team to have the chemistry needed to beat teams with more soccer ability. Chris exemplifies what I see as the perfect student-athlete. He leads his peers on the field, in the classroom and in social environments.”