June 12, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame men’s golf standout, Steve Ratay (Sr., Arlington Heights, Ill.) has been chosen to the Verizon Academic All-American At-Large team for the 2001-02 school year.
The Irish team captain and team MVP was a second team selection for this year after being a third team selection following his junior year, the 2000-01 campaign. He becomes the first two-time Academic All-American selection for the Notre Dame men’s golf team and gives the Irish three consecutive years that a men’s golfer has been selected to the team. Jeff Connell, a 2000 graduate, was a third team selection in the spring of 2000.
A May graduate, Ratay closed out his Notre Dame golf career with his best season ever for the Irish. In his final season, Ratay turned in a 73.03 season average for 32 rounds giving him the best single-season average in school history.
For his career, Ratay played 105 rounds and had a 74.46 career average to finish .03 off the school record of 74.43. The BIG EAST runner-up in 2002, Ratay had seven top 10 finishes for the Irish during the 2001-02 season. He equalled the school record for the lowest-single round when he shot a five-under par 66 in the first round of the Xavier Provident Invitational on Oct. 8th. At the BIG EAST championship, held at the Warren Golf Course in late April, Ratay shot a five-over par 215 to finish tied for second, four strokes behind Virginia Tech’s Johnson Wagner, the tournament champion.
A Dean’s List selection in every semester at Notre Dame, Ratay had a 3.82 grade point average in Computer Science. At the school’s annual awards banquet, Ratay was selected as a winner of the Byron V. Kanaley Award which is the most prestigious honor awarded a Notre Dame senior student-athlete. A member of Notre Dame’s Academic Honors Program, Ratay won the team’s Rockne Student-Athlete Award in 2001 and was the team’s Most Valuable Player in 2002.
He is also one of five finalists for the inaugural Byron Nelson Award which is presented to the senior men’s golfer who displays excellence on the golf course, in the classroom and in the community.
The selection of Ratay to the Verizon Academic All-American team gives the Irish a total of six student-athletes selected during the 2001-02 school year, (with track and field teams yet to be announced). Notre Dame now has 141 Academic All-Americans (second most all-time) since the program began in 1952.
Over the past three years, Notre Dame has had 26 student-athletes, representing 10 different teams selected Academic All-American. Baseball, with six, leads the way, followed by softball (4), women’s soccer (4), men’s golf (3), women’s basketball (2), men’s lacrosse (2), hockey (2), men’s soccer (1), women’s track (1) and rowing (1).
The Verizon At-Large Academic All-American team is chosen from student-athletes participating in 10 sports – golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, volleyball, water polo and wrestling. The teams are selected in voting by the College Sports Information Directors of America.