Stanley wins Ken B. Jones Award


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fort Hays State pole vaulter Ryan Stanley was the male recipient of the 2022-23 Ken B. Jones Award, presented by Summit Pointe Financial Group, announced Tuesday (June 6) at the 2023 MIAA Awards Celebration presented by Husch Blackwell.

The Ken B. Jones Award recognizes the Association’s top female and male student-athletes from the academic year.

Stanley previously won the 2021 MIAA Spring Male Student-Athlete of the Year award, making him the third male student-athlete to win multiple top conference honors since the award was established in 1993-94.

A two-time national champion, Stanley lifted a pair of All-American trophies this season, placing fifth outdoors and seventh indoors. He finished his career with eight All-American honors after qualifying for eight national meets.

He was the outdoor MIAA pole vault champion this season and also earned All-MIAA honors indoors with a third-place finish, giving the Bennington, Kan. native five career All-MIAA medals and two conference titles. He holds the school record in the pole vault both indoors (17-9.25, 5.42m) and outdoors (17-7, 5.36m) and was a seven-time All-Region selection.

Stanley graduated summa cum laude with his bachelor’s degree as a double major in Management (Human Resources) and Spanish for Specific Purposes with a GPA of 3.95 in the fall of 2022. He recently completed an MBA with an emphasis in Human Resource Management with a GPA of 3.63 in the spring of 2023.

He was a CoSIDA Academic All-America first-team selection in 2021 and is a two-time CoSIDA/College Sports Communicators Academic All-District pick. He has earned four USTFCCCA All-Academic Awards, three MIAA Academic Excellence Awards, five MIAA Scholar-Athlete Awards, nine MIAA Academic Honor Roll spots and three D2ADA Academic Achievement Awards.

Off the pole vault runway and outside of the classroom, Stanley has engaged in numerous philanthropic and civic activities during his five years in Hays. He served as the FHSU student body president in 2022-23 after spending last year as vice president and has also been a VIP Ambassador with the Office of the President for three consecutive years. He’s helped with SGA’s Big Event three years in a row by serving at Bethesda Place and has also traveled to Topeka to advocate for higher education three times at Higher Education Day.

Stanley has been a guest speaker at the Hays Middle School Leadership Conference and volunteered at Youth Night at the Track. He packed boxes for Operation Christmas Child with Christian Challenge and participated in Kare Packs packing with the Society for Human Resource Management. He frequently drives international classmates with limited means of transportation to run errands.

Stanley is the first male FHSU student-athlete to win the Ken B. Jones Award, joining Kate Lehman (2014-15) as the lone individual from Fort Hays State to win the MIAA’s top honor. Stanley and Whitney Randall (2020-21 winter) both won season-specific MIAA Student-Athlete of the Year awards in 2020-21 when the award was divided into seasons due to the lack of athletic competition in the fall that year.

FHSU women’s golfer Morgan Brasser was a finalist for the award on the women’s side, making Fort Hays State one of two institutions in the conference with finalists for both awards. Brasser was the MIAA Women’s Golfer of the Year and a unanimous first-team All-MIAA selection after setting the program record with a stroke average of 75.8. She won three tournaments this year and was a WGCA All-Region selection after qualifying for her third-consecutive NCAA DII Central Regional. The Andale, Kan. native carries a GPA of 3.91 as an HHP major emphasizing in Sport & Exercise Therapy and has served on the FHSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for three years in addition to volunteering at the FHSU Campus Catholic Center and with youth golf clinics.

A 15-member panel of athletics directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletics representatives and sports information directors – including a representative from each member institution – select the finalists. Each nominee is judged in three areas, including 2022-23 athletic accomplishments, career academic accomplishments, and 2022-23 campus/community service.