NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— The Atlantic 10 Conference has named Saint Louis men’s soccer player Adnan Gabeljic and Richmond swimmer Amalia Kobelja its men’s and women’s Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
Voted on by the league’s Directors of Athletics, the award is given to the best overall male and female student-athlete, based on their athletic success and academic prowess.
Kobelja, who also won the women’s award following the 2011-12 season, is just the second repeat winner in league history. She is the first since 1991 when West Virginia’s Rosemary Kosiorek won the first two awards. Kobelja remains the only winner from Richmond and she is the only women’s swimming student-athlete to have won the award.
Gabeljic is the third all-time honoree from Saint Louis, who also had John DiRaimondo (men’s soccer, 2005-06) and Theresa Lisch (basketball 2008-09) honored with the prestigious award. He is the eighth men’s soccer honoree, but the first since 2008-09.
A graduated senior from Fort Wayne, Ind., Kobelja was also selected as one of two Atlantic 10 NCAA Woman of the Year Candidates in 2014. She won the A-10’s Most Outstanding Performer Award at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 A-10 Swimming Championship, the first female swimmer in league history to win it three times. She has a total of 27 gold medals and one silver in the A-10 Championships, leading the team to four titles during her time at UR. She was named an Honorable Mention All-American by both CSCAA and CollegeSwimming.com three times during her career and was the 2011 Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding rookie. An Olympic Trial Qualifier in 2012, Kobelja was named A-10 Women’s Swimming Athlete of the Week 13 times, was named to the A-10 All-Academic team three times, and won multiple A-10 titles in 13 different events for a total of 27 gold medals.
A biology major, she graduated Summa Cum Laude this past spring from Richmond. She also was a Phi Beta Kappa Society member. She was a recipient of the 2014 Westhampton College’s Leslie Sessoms Booker Good Citizen Undergraduate Award, given annually to the senior female UR student who has typified loyal, enthusiastic, and unselfish service to the campus community. She also won the 2011 Donnie Earl Lindsey, Jr. First Year Spirit Award, which is awarded to a UR freshman student-athlete who exemplifies excellence in athletics, leadership, scholarship and talent. She also won the 2014 Recipient of the Spider Club Award and the 2014 Richmond Department of Athletics Leadership Award, for inspiration, teamwork and leadership.
Gabeljic, a native of St. Louis, also just completed his senior season with the Billikens. He was drafted by Sporting Kansas City in the 2014 MLS Superdraft and is currently playing professionally for OKC Energy of the USL Pro League. He helped the Billikens to an A-10 Championship title in 2012 and an A-10 Regular-Season title in 2013, ending his career having played in 70 matches and collected 14 goals and seven assists for 35 points. As a senior in 2013, Gabeljic scored three goals and added an assist for seven points and he appeared in 17 matches and scored goals against Cincinnati, Central Arkansas and Saint Joseph’s. He was second on the Billikens in scoring his junior season with 19 points (7G, 5A). He scored in the Billikens’ A-10 Championship game victory and assisted on the game-winning goal in the A-10 semifinals. During his sophomore season, he appeared in 13 games and scored in the Billikens’ upset victory against No. 10 Notre Dame. Gabeljic had an impressive rookie campaign, tying for first on the team in scoring. He was an A-10 preseason All-Rookie selection and appeared on TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Top 100 Freshmen list throughout the season. He was named a CollegeSoccerNews.com Top 100 Freshman to Keep an Eye On. He also was Team Academic Captain, where he helped younger teammates better manage their time to help them excel academically.
A Civil Engineering major, Gabeljic was named Academic All-District and Academic All-Conference as both a junior and a senior. He spent 2013 as a full-time undergraduate research assistant will was a teaching assistant for two courses/labs. As part of the top eight of his junior class, he was initiated into Tau Beta Pi, the oldest engineering honor society. Gabeljic also was VP of the student chapter of ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers).