PAXTON, MA: Anna Maria College men's soccer sophomore Benedetto (Daniele) Iaboni has been chosen to serve on the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, as announced by Great Northeast Athletic Conference Commissioner Joe Walsh on Tuesday.
Iaboni will serve as the GNAC's national SAAC representative through January 2024.
"I'm so very excited and beyond grateful to represent both Anna Maria and the GNAC on the national level as the new GNAC D3 SAAC representative," said Iaboni. "I cannot wait to get working with so many amazing individuals to help make both D3 and the GNAC the best they can be."
Under Division III's Partner-Conference SAAC pairing structure, the Whitby, Ontario native will work as the primary rep in conjunction with the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) appointee, who will serve as the associate representative.
Last summer, Iaboni was named to the GNAC SAAC Commissioner's Council for the 2020-21 academic year. The young leader has participated in biweekly GNAC meetings and helped navigate the conference-wide SAAC's mental health initiatives, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other student-athlete programming such as race relations and financial literacy.
"I have every confidence that Daniele, as he is known around Anna Maria College, will be an asset to the national SAAC," said Commissioner Walsh.
A double major in Business Administration and Digital Marketing, Iaboni appeared in five games for the AMCATS as a freshman in 2019 under head coach Jacob Pesarcik.
"We are extremely proud of Daniele for earning this recognition and opportunity," said Pesarcik. "I am confident he will continue to represent both the GNAC and the Anna Maria College community with great pride. He's demonstrated a high-quality academic standard and continues to make proper strides in developing further as a promising college soccer player. This is well-deserved and I hope Daniele enjoys the experience."
The national SAAC represents the student-athlete voice in the Division III governance structure by reviewing legislation, identifying significant student-athlete issues, implementing student-athlete based initiatives, encouraging community outreach, and enhancing D3 student-athlete involvement and understanding in general. The committee meets in-person four times a year and is primarily responsible for maintaining and coordinating the division's nationwide partnership with Special Olympics.
"We are very excited for Daniele and his appointment to the NCAA Division III SAAC," said Joseph Brady '96, currently in his second year as Anna Maria Director of Athletics. "He will be an outstanding representative for both our institution and the conference."
Away from the pitch and off of campus, the proud Canadian follows the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Raptors, Miami Dolphins, and S.S. Lazio, which plays in Italy's Serie A. He played for Master's Futbol Academy (MFA), which helped mold him into the athlete he is today, and one day aspires to work within the front office of a professional sports organization.
For now, Iaboni is eager to make an impact to help his fellow student-athletes and GNAC counterparts.
"I am fortunate to have experienced so much at the league level as part of the GNAC SAAC Commissioner's Council," said Iaboni. "It will certainly help me on the national level and I cannot wait to get started."
Iaboni replaces outgoing GNAC national representative Morgan Mercier of Emmanuel College, who took over for Johnson & Wales University's Mikayla Arimura in May 2020. Mercier and Iaboni will continue to serve alongside one another on the GNAC SAAC Commissioner's Council for the remainder of the spring semester.
To view on The GNAC website click HERE.
About Anna Maria College
Located just outside of Worcester in Paxton, MA, Anna Maria College is a private, co-educational institution inspired by the ideals of the Sisters of Saint Anne. We prepare students to become ethical leaders by combining a values-based, service-focused education with strong functional knowledge and the skills necessary to address the rapidly changing needs of their world. Anna Maria delivers undergraduate and graduate degrees along with certificate programs on campus and online. For more information, visit www.annamaria.edu.