BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – West Liberty University men’s basketball All-American Bryce Butler is the 2022 Mountain East Conference Male Athlete of the Year.

    This marks the fourth time since the MEC awards began in 2015 that a Hilltopper basketball player has been honored as the MEC Male Athlete of the Year. Seger Bonifant won back-to-back awards in 2015 and 2016 while Dalton Bolon was last year’s honoree. The MEC Male and Female Athletes of the Year are chosen by a vote of administrators from conference institutions and league officials.

    A 6-5 sophomore wing from Latrobe, Pa., Butler was the second-leading scorer and leading rebounder (18.1 ppg., 7.5 rpg.) on a West Liberty team that rode its fifth consecutive MEC championship and second MEC Tournament title in the past three seasons to a No. 2 national ranking and NCAA Division II-best 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament bid.

    Butler was a major contributor to WLU’s 14th national scoring title in the past 17 seasons. Virtually unstoppable on the low block, he ranked among the Top 10 nationally with 246 made field goals and placed among the nation’s Top 20 players in NCAA Division II field-goal percentage (246-397, .620). The model of consistency, Butler hit double-figures in 31 of 32 games for the 29-3 Hilltoppers and finished the season with a team-high 11 double-doubles.

    The 54th member of West Liberty’s 1,000-Point Club, Butler received a host of postseason awards. After sweeping the MEC Player of the Year and NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Player of the Year Awards, he was the only sophomore and only MEC player named to the 15-man 2022 D2CCA All-America Team. Also an outstanding student, Butler was honored as a first-team NCAA Division II Academic All-District selection and a member of the MEC All-Academic Team.

    The MEC Awards announcements continue on Friday with the release of the 2022 MEC Male and Female Scholar-Athlete Awards.

MEC MALE ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

2014-15

     – SEGER BONIFANT (BASKETBALL, WEST LIBERTY)

2015-16

     – SEGER BONIFANT (BASKETBALL, WEST LIBERTY)

2016-17

     – Matt Bingaya (Basketball, Fairmont State)

2017-18

     – Thomas Vancaeyezeele (Soccer, Charleston)

2018-19

     – Will Vorhees (Basketball, Notre Dame)

2019-20

     – Jaleel McLaughlin (Football, Notre Dame)

2020-21

     – DALTON BOLON (BASKETBALL, WEST LIBERTY)

2021-22

     – BRYCE BUTLER (BASKETBALL, WEST LIBERTY)