Cavalier Athletes, Coaches Named Finalist for NCAA DII 2020 Award of Excellence

For the third consecutive year, Walsh University student-athletes and coaches have been named a finalist for the NCAA DII Award of Excellence for service.

Nineteen schools and two conferences out of 312 members have been named finalists for the 2020 Division II Award of Excellence, an accolade recognizing initiatives in the past year that exemplify the Division II philosophy, community engagement and student-athlete leadership.

A member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, Walsh was nominated for the Taylor Ceepo Memorial Night. The Walsh women’s soccer team and the Ceepo family were involved in over 140 hours of community engagement and raised $4,449 for the Taylor Ceepo Memorial Fund, to continue to support the causes that Ceepo was passionate about (Akron Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish and organ donation).

Every fall the Walsh women’s soccer team selects a charitable cause to support and engage community awareness. The 2019 fall soccer season, however, came with some additional adversity for the Walsh women. In May, the women lost a dear alumni and friend, Taylor Ceepo, due to sudden death and cardiomyopathy during the 42nd Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon. This year the women selected to honor and support the newly released Taylor Ceepo Memorial fund at the Cleveland Foundation.


The Walsh University women’s soccer team came together with the Ceepo family, for over 140 hours of service, to arrange t-shirt sales, basket raffles, and food truck sales in hopes to attract a crowd and spread awareness at the October 5, 2019 remembrance game. Team captain Brianna Sanborn created a t-shirt that reflected the causes Taylor was passionate about. As a student, Taylor was a liaison between the Walsh Dance Marathon club and the ‘miracle families’ from The Akron Children’s Hospital.

There were over 500 people in attendance at the event, including representatives from all Walsh University sports. Other Walsh University teams playing or practicing on October 5, purchased and wore Ceepo shirts during their events. 

Walsh Student government, local businesses, and family and friends worked together to arrange baskets that were raffled off. At the beginning of the event, the initiatives near and dear to Taylor’s heart were introduced and prayed for, while at half time Taylor’s jersey was presented to her family. While working with Akron Children’s Hospital and the Make-A-Wish foundation, Taylor was able to become very close with a child named Spencer and his family. Taylor’s miracle child, Spencer, was able to attend the remembrance game and was named honorary captain.