OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Bemidji State forward Brendan Harms has been selected as the 2016-17 Senior CLASS Award® winner for NCAA® Division I men’s hockey. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men’s hockey coaches, national hockey media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men’s hockey. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive difference as leaders in their communities.
“Winning the Senior CLASS Award really means a lot,” said Harms, the first student-athlete from Bemidji State to win the award in any sport. “When I saw the list of nominees, they are all great players and they are amazing people, too. Just to have the opportunity to be nominated and then to make the short list of finalists was an extreme honor for me. When you put the work in to balance life as a student-athlete and try to contribute more than just on the ice, and then get acknowledged for that, it’s an amazing feeling.”
A staple in the lineup for the Beavers all four years, Harms registered 21 points (8g, 13a) to go along with 83 shots on goal and 23 blocks this season, also scoring two game-winning goals and finishing second on the team with six power-play scores. Harms earned WCHA Offensive Player of the Week in November after a series sweep of Northern Michigan in which he was a part of six of the Beavers’ seven points (1g, 5a), tied for the most points nationally and became just the 10th player in WCHA history with four assists in a single period. With 88 career points (33g, 55a) in four seasons and 141 games, Harms ranks among the top 12 on BSU’s Division I-era scoring list, while his 55 assists place him eighth at BSU since 1999-2000. Earning WCHA Player of the Week or Rookie of the Week honors in each of his four seasons, Harms earned third-team All-Conference honors as a sophomore.
“Brendan Harms personifies what it means to be a student-athlete,” said Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore. "He does everything the right way, and is always committed to his work in the classroom, in the community and on the ice. He leads by example and makes a positive impact with everything he does and everyone he meets. He is a great representative of Beaver Hockey and leaves Bemidji State and our community a better place.”
In addition to his commitment to excellence on the ice, Harms has worked as diligently off it. With a 4.0 GPA as a business administration major with a minor in human performance, Harms is both a three-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete and three-time member of the WCHA All-Academic team. Voted an alternate captain for his senior season, Harms also has remained active in the community throughout his career, volunteering with the Bemidji Area Boy’s and Girl’s Club, Heartland Christian Academy and a local suicide prevention walk. He served his campus, as well, by volunteering with BSU’s campus clean-up project and helping fellow students move into the dorms during the fall semesters.
“We are thrilled that Brendan Harms was chosen at this year’s winner,” said Erik Miner, executive director of the Senior CLASS Award. “It takes incredible dedication to maintain excellence in all four of the award categories — classroom, character, community and completion — and Brendan has done that to an incredible level. We offer our congratulations to Brendan and the entire Bemidji State community.”