Story courtesy of Texas Lutheran University Sports Information
SEGUIN, Texas – Texas Lutheran University Men's Basketball senior Matthew Gillette has been selected to serve as a national representative for the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Gillette is the first Bulldog to represent TLU on the national DIII SAAC.
As a member of the national committee, Gillette will represent the student-athletes of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and the American Southwest Conference.
Gillette is a native of Spring, Texas and a graduate of Klein High School. He is a business administration major at TLU. He holds a cumulative grade point average of 3.54.
SAAC represents the Division III student-athlete voice in the Division III governance structure by reviewing legislation, identifying significant student-athlete issues, implementing national student-athlete based initiatives, encouraging community outreach, and enhancing Division III student-athlete involvement in and understanding of Division III in general.
The SAAC is also the committee that is primarily responsible for maintaining and coordinating the division's nationwide partnership with Special Olympics. The committee meets in-person four times each year - in January, April, July and November. It also conducts teleconferences as needed.
"I submitted an application, and the NCAA told me I had the part," said Gillette. "I was ecstatic when I found out. It's a great honor because it gives our school a chance to have a voice on different regulations. It gives me the opportunity to voice those concerns and opinions."
Gillette said he already has some issues he wants to address with the NCAA DIII SAAC.
"I think some things I would like to bring to the board are how students interact with their academics and maybe even more of putting an emphasis on time management with sports and with academics. Also I'd like to address different things about practice times and strength and conditioning classes in the fall and in the spring when teams are in off-season."
The 23-member national committee includes one student-athlete from each pair of conferences represented in the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee partnership program and at least one student-athlete from a Division III independent institution.
Additionally, 50 percent of the positions shall be allocated for men and 50 percent allocated for women with at least 25 percent of all positions allocated for ethnic minorities. Not more than one student-athlete from a playing conference may serve on the committee at any time. Two NCAA Management Council members serve as ex officio members of the committee.
Gillette is one of three men's basketball players on the national committee. He is the only DIII national representative from a Texas college or university.
Gillette's term on the national committee expires in January 2019.
Gillette is a 6-foot-5 and 230-pound senior forward on TLU's three-time defending SCAC Men's Basketball Championship squad. He has been a member of all three SCAC Championship teams and on all three NCAA Tournament-qualifying squads.
Gillette comes off a junior campaign in which he averaged a career-best 7.1 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Bulldogs. He shot .477 from the field and .702 from the free throw line. He played in all 29 games for the 19-10 Bulldogs, who advanced to their third consecutive NCAA DIII Men's Basketball Championship (first round) after winning the SCAC Championship as the third seed.
For the 2016-17 championship, TLU won three games in three days to complete the run to a third straight conference title.
Gillette is a 2016-17 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court award recipient. He has been named to the SCAC Academic Honor Roll for three consecutive years (2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17).