ABILENE – Abilene Christian wide receiver Josh Fink recently was announced by the NCAA as one of its Postgraduate Scholarship awardees for the 2019 fall season. He is the first Wildcat student-athlete to earn one of these coveted prizes since the 2012-13 season when they were awarded to soccer’s Julie Coppedge and track and field’s Parker Petty.
Fink additionally is one of 11 football players tabbed to this exclusive list, joining Rodrigo Blakenship (Georgia), Dawson Brown (Bethel), Austin Campbell (Idaho State), Ben Cross (Denison), Anthony Davidson and Benjamin Gaal (John Hopkins), Alex Goettl (Minnesota Mankato), William Hasken (Wartburg), Anthony Kennon (Carnegie Mellon) and Tyler Swafford (Eastern Kentucky).
“I was ecstatic to get the email with the news that I had won the award,” said Fink. “I applied for the award not knowing much about it, but figured it was worth a shot. I put forward my application along with Letters of Recommendation and essays, and then heard back six to eight weeks later from the NCAA that I had got it.
“It was a great feeling,” he added. I’m getting married in June, so this is going to be of huge help to my fiancée and I to help pay for grad school.”
Fink, who graduated last semester with a 3.81 GPA in accounting and financial management, was a top-10 Southland Conference receiver with 822 receiving yards, 74.7 receiving yards and 5.7 receptions per game. He additionally averaged 13.05 yards per reception with five receiving touchdowns.
For his career, Fink accumulated 2,323 career receiving yards (7th all-time at ACU) with 188 receptions (3rd) and 14 touchdowns.
“From the get-go, Josh really helped the coaches and I create a sustainable culture here built on football, academics and faith,” said head coach Adam Dorrel. “He best exemplified all of that within our program thanks to an impeccable work ethic and leadership skills that enabled him to be a multi-year team captain. He was a mainstay, the absolute backbone for our team these last four seasons.”
Fink this past year also received Academic All-District and All-America honors from CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) for the second consecutive season. The Southland Conference named him to its All-Academic Team and Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll, and the FCS ADA (Athletic Directors Association) selected him as an Academic All Star (and finalist for its postgraduate scholarship).
A native of Coppell, Texas, Fink recently completed his internship with Ernst & Young (Dallas) and is about to start working as a financial analyst this April for Cherry Coatings (a commercial painting company). He will hold this job prior to beginning the Masters of Accounting program at SMU in August.
Fink plans to take the CPA exams next summer (2021) before starting full time with Ernst & Young.
The NCAA awards up to 126 postgraduate scholarships annually. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically. The one-time non-renewable scholarships of $10,000 are awarded three times a year corresponding to each sport season (fall, winter and spring). Each sports season, there are 21 scholarships available for men and 21 scholarships available for women. All former student-athletes who earned an undergraduate degree from an NCAA member school are eligible to be nominated for an NCAA graduate degree scholarship, regardless of when they received their undergraduate degree.
The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage graduate education by rewarding the Association’s most accomplished student-athletes. Athletics and academic achievements, campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership are evaluated.