Melbourne, Fla. – Lynn University men's golfer Toto Gana has been named the 2018-19 Sunshine State Conference Male Athlete of the Year, as announced by the league office on Tuesday. Gana, fresh off leading the men's golf team to its second consecutive national championship, becomes the fourth Male Athlete of the Year in school history, and first since Dan Wright in 2009.
Voting for the award is conducted among Athletic Directors, Senior Woman Administrators, Athletic Communication Directors, and Faculty Athletic Representatives from each of the 11 SSC member institutions.
This also marks just the fourth time in SSC history a single institution has swept Male and Female Athlete of the Year recognition, following Leolia Jeanjean's announcement on Monday. The last time one school won both awards was over a decade ago, by Tampa in 2007-08. Florida Southern claimed both awards in 2000-01 and 1987-88. The two plaudits give Lynn eight total between men and women programs.
Gana guided the Lynn's men's golf program to five tournament victories on the season, culminating in the team's second straight national title, a 3-2 win over Lincoln Memorial in championship match play on May 24. The junior out of Santiago, Chile, has been named a Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) First Team All-American, GCAA/PING All-South Region honoree and All-SSC First Team selection just this year.
On the course, Gana is the fifth-ranked golfer in Division II after posting a 71.33 stroke average and eight top-10 finishes. His top-10s and stroke average are tied for third and fifth, respectively, for a single-season in program history while he moved into first for stroke average (71.36) and match play victories (7) in a career. He also earned NCAA Championship and SSC Championship All-Tournament laurels for finishing tied for fourth in both events.
Gana joins Wright (Baseball – 2009), Nicolas Boisvert (Baseball – 2007) and Ross Lumsden (Men's Soccer – 2004) as previous male winners of SSC Athlete of the Year. Jeanjean, Jessica Bradley (women's golf; 2013-14), Aimee Murch (softball; 2004-05) and Jannie Nicolaisen (women's soccer; 1998-99) round out the female SSC Athlete of the Year winners. His selection is the sixth by a men's golfer in the last 10 years of the SSC.