Zach Willis Honored With Tranghese Postgraduate Leadership Award
July 22, 2014
PROVIDENCE, R.I. –
University of Memphis’ Zach Willis, a four-year letterman on the Tigers baseball team, has been honored with one of the two Michael Tranghese Postgraduate Leadership Awards, the American Athletic Conference announced Tuesday.
The honor, given to one male and one female student-athlete among all American Athletic Conference-sponsored sports, is a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship award. Connecticut volleyball’s Jackie Wattles was the Tranghese Postgraduate Leadership Award female recipient.
To be eligible for the award, student-athletes must demonstrate leadership through excellence in academic (minimum cumulative 3.25 GPA) and athletic performance and a commitment in service to the university and in the community. The recipients also must have completed their athletic eligibility and admitted to a degree-granting graduate or professional program for the following academic year.
Willis, the Tigers’ starting second baseman in 2014, scored a team-high 41 runs as a senior. A starter in 54-of-57 games last season, Willis hit .264 with one home run and 25 RBI. In the field, he committed just nine errors on 215 defensive chances.
As a junior in 2013, Willis started all 59 games and hit .305. The Bartlett, Tenn., native led the Tigers with a .412 on-base percentage.
For his career, Willis made 184 appearances, including 140 starts. He posted a career .282 batting average with 106 runs scored and 58 RBI. Willis had 27 doubles, three triples and three home runs.
In the classroom, Willis had a 3.85 grade-point average and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Memphis’ honors accounting program this past May. Willis was named to the Dean’s List all eight semesters and was a two-time member of the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll. Willis’ other academic accolades include: Tiger Academic 30, Tiger 3.0 Club, Golden Key Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Sigma Alpha Lambda, Alpha Lambda Delta, Helen Hardin Honors Program, PAWS Scholar and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Vice-President.
Willis also was a member of the Beta Alpha Psi honors organization, through which he was involved in a number of community service efforts. He served as a tutor for accounting students at the university and volunteered at the Memphis Zoo and the Memphis Botanical Gardens. He additionally earned the Cecil C. Humphrey Presidential Scholarship, which included a service requirement of 75 hours per semester.
Willis has been admitted to the accounting graduate program at the University of Memphis and plans to pursue a master’s degree in accounting.