June 27, 2011

By Andrew Bowman

This is a continuation in a series of features about Miami University's brightest student-athletes. Their exceptional academic performance during the recently completed spring semester earned them a spot on the roster of the RedHawks' exclusive Straight A Team. In addition to their rigorous schedules on the athletic fields, each of these individuals earned a perfect 4.0 grade-point average this past semester. Overall, during the 2010-11 academic year, Miami's nearly 500 student-athletes earned an impressive cumulative 3.11 GPA in the classroom.

OXFORD, Ohio - When someone says they have a perfect grade-point average at any university, people are impressed. Even rarer are varsity athletes with a 4.0 GPA. Better still, how many people can say they are a chemistry major while on a conference-winning football team, and have a perfect GPA? Miami University RedHawk sophomore kicker Mason Krysinski can.

Krysinski was one of the 17 RedHawk student-athletes to make the Straight A Team last semester while maintaining his perfect grade-point average. In addition to his chemistry major, he has a minor in math.

"The greatest factor that has helped me succeed would be how supportive my professors are of my participation in football and their willingness to work around my tight schedule. Their office hours nearly became my private class time," he said.

A kicker on Miami's 2010 Mid-American Conference championship and GoDaddy.com Bowl championship team, Krysinski was a perfect 3-for-3 on the season in PATs while serving as the back-up. Krysinski will most likely be the starting placekicker for the RedHawks in the 2011 season. Despite the high expectations, and dreams of an NFL playing career, his focus always goes back to academics.

"On the field, I want to be noted as a watch list candidate for the Lou Groza Award while helping my team repeat as MAC champions. In class I want to repeat my success in the classroom with all A's while involving myself in a couple research opportunities," said Krysinski.

Although he said his dream job would be an NFL kicker, Krysinski hopes it really would help pay for medical school. For a career, he aspires to be an allergist.

Miami first-year special teams coach Zak Willis said, "Mason's got a chance to be a real weapon if he works hard. He's a legitimate big-time kicker."

During last year, Krysinski was enrolled in an Honors Calculus III course with Dr. Douglas Ward. The demand of the class and a tough football schedule led to Krysinski and Ward meeting outside of class.

"He did a good job keeping up with the class and homework," said Ward. "The material builds on itself and if you don't get it you fall behind. You can tell he spent a lot of time with the homework and he was very pointed with his questions. I really enjoyed working with him."

The strong academic background and football prowess followed Krysinski from high school. He was his high school's valedictorian, All-State Academic (football), Academic All-County (football and lacrosse) and broke a slew of high school records. In addition, he had a long list of community service while in high school. So, with all the potential in the world, why Miami?

"My kicking coach used to tell me that choosing a college was not a four-year decision but rather a forty-year decision because your school would directly influence things such as a career, a spouse, and even social networking connections," said Krysinski. "I chose Miami because of its incredibly high acceptance rate into med school for applicants with over a 3.5 GPA. I would be lying if I didn't include the fact that the history and tradition behind the football program wasn't also a factor."

Off the field and out of the classroom, Krysinski is an outdoorsman. His favorite place in Oxford is the untouched fishing spots in Bachelor Reserve. In addition, he said his dream place to live would be Vail, Colorado, not only because of the snowboarding, but the trout fishing as well.

In the meantime, Krysinski will look to continue to improve on the field over his remaining three years in Oxford while continuing his perfection in the classroom. He starts his sophomore season Sept. 3 when Miami plays at Missouri.


Words of Wisdom from Mason Krysinski

My biggest piece of advice for incoming freshmen is... "Come to every home football game and bring your friends. The games are awesome!

My biggest piece of advice for incoming athletes is... "Use your professors' office hours to your advantage so that you can work around difficult in-season schedules"

My favorite part about Miami is... "The untouched fishing spots hidden in Bachelor Reserve."