Double Victory: St. Mary’s Player Crowned Player of the Year, Coach Earns Coach of the Year Honours

St. Mary’s University is pleased to announce Caleb Jipp of the St. Mary’s Lightning has been selected as the 2023-2024 Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference (ACAC) Men’s Basketball South Player of the Year.

Caleb Jipp has had an electrifying 2023-2024 season for the St. Mary’s Lightning, leading not only the ACAC but also the entire Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) in scoring with an impressive 25.7 points per game. Additionally, he topped the ACAC in steals and ranked second in free throws.

Beyond his stellar stats, Caleb has been a delight to watch all season long. Crafty, creative, and a deadly long-range shooter, he consistently plays with a big smile on his face, showcasing his love for the game. Under his leadership, the Lightning secured their first-ever 1st place finish in the ACAC South Division. Caleb’s journey is truly inspirational. Standing at just 5’11 with a slight frame, many other schools overlooked him during recruitment. However, he has surpassed all expectations by developing both his mental and physical skills to an exceptional level.

Caleb was named the ACAC athlete of the week for November 17-18 and the CCAA athlete of the week for February 9-10.

A fourth-year psychology student from Calgary, AB, Caleb is happily married to Madi, whose enthusiastic cheers can be heard during all of the St. Mary’s broadcasts.

This prestigious award was recognized at the 2024 ACAC Men’s Basketball Championship hosted by Keyano College in Fort McMurray, AB on February 29th.

“Caleb has been a true leader for this program and it has been a pleasure to watch him grow both on and off the court,” said Lightning Men’s Head Coach Nathan Ruff. “This award is a testament to his commitment to his craft and a reward for all of the hard work and dedication Caleb has committed to his game, and to this program.”

For his remarkable season, Caleb was also named the CCAA player of the year at the CCAA National Awards banquet held on March 12, 2024.

Caleb wasn’t the only Lightning honoured on the night as Coach Ruff was awarded ACAC Coach of the Year for guiding the Lightning to a remarkable 19-2 record and top spot in the ACAC South division.

“It’s always nice to be recognized for your work and I am extremely thankful to the ACAC for this honour,” said Coach Ruff. “It really isn’t about me though, it’s about those men who wear the St. Mary’s Lightning jerseys with such pride, it’s their commitment and belief in me, in this program, that allowed us to have the success we did this year and I am so thankful to have been able to work with this group of players.”

“For me winning this award is very humbling. The only reason I won this is because of the men in this program and their belief in me and then playing their hearts out. I see it as a team award.”