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Student-athlete gets ‘best of both worlds’

Some students may be intimidated by the work involved with graduating a year early, playing a sport and being president of the School of Management’s scholar’s program. But Brendan McGovern knew he was up for the challenge.

“One of the reasons I chose to play soccer was that it forces you to balance your time,” the 21-year-old said. “You can’t be lazy.”

The Westchester native decided to attend Binghamton for the academics and never really considered playing soccer here. But after being accepted to the school, he decided to contact the coach. 

“It just worked out,” he said. “I realized I could get the best of both worlds.”

In addition to being a member of the men’s soccer team and the president of the SOM scholar’s program, he is involved with the Dean’s Advisory Board in SOM and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. He is also a graduate assistant for the Management Information Systems Department in SOM and a teaching assistant for an MIS class.

“I’ve gotten the opportunity to do a lot of different things,” he said, “and I’ve found unique ways that I could get involved.”

McGovern is now working toward his master’s degree in accounting, after graduating a year early from the School of Management. He graduated with one of the top 10 GPAs of any Binghamton student-athlete, helping his team to the highest GPA of all Division I men’s soccer programs in the nation for the 2007-08 school year.

“I’m proud that I’ve surrounded myself with great people,” he said, “and I didn’t focus on just athletics or academics.”

One of the people McGovern has worked closely with the last four years is head soccer coach Paul Marco, who attributes McGovern’s success to his self-awareness. 

“He just gets it,” Marco said. “He understands what his strengths are and who he is.”

After finishing his master’s degree in May, McGovern plans to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers, an accounting firm in New York City.

Marco has bigger things in mind for McGovern.

“He could be president one day if he wanted,” he said. “I’d vote for him.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08