By Scott Latta
UA Media Relations
This is the second of a six-part series of profiles on the University of Alabama’s 2006 ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. At the University of Alabama, the tradition of success extends far beyond the field of play. Success in the classroom has long been a Crimson Tide staple and perhaps nothing better demonstrates that better than the fact that six Alabama student-athletes earned ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American honors last season, a mark that led the Southeastern Conference and ranked in top five among all Division I schools. Those six, Guido Arroyo, Ashley Bentley, Beth Mallory, Vlad Polyakov, Emeel Salem and Joseph Sykora will be honored before this weekend’s Alabama-Ole Miss football game.
While a swimmer at Alabama, Guido Arroyo received more attention than perhaps any other athlete head coach Eric McIlquham had. But it wasn’t always for his actions in the pool.
“Guido has never made below an A in his entire life,” McIlquham said, “and he has had job offers already from 100 different companies.”
The attention garnered to Arroyo from the corporate world is understandable, considering his 4.0 GPA as a Management Information Systems major. As a junior, Arroyo was named the MIS 2005 Outstanding Junior, and his senior year was named the Outstanding Graduating College of Business Senior. He was Vice President of Publicity for the Alabama Information Management Systems, and served as a tutor and mentor.
While at the Capstone, Arroyo was involved with business recruiters, helping to match up MIS students with potential companies, and is currently earning his Master’s degree. After school, he said he wants to work with the consulting side of a big firm in auditing.
“You have to schedule and prioritize every day and every week and be responsible and disciplined for school and swimming, but also find time to rest,” Arroyo said.
Arroyo, a standout butterfly performer at Alabama, is one of two Alabama swimmers to be named to the Academic All-American list, with senior Vlad Polyakov. He attributed his success in the classroom to “good time management and discipline.”
“As students, they are two that set the bar,” Coach McIlquham said. “Being an Academic All-American in our sport is tough with the time we spend in the pool in the morning, they’re there at 5:30 for practice, and then in the afternoon we have a second practice. To be able to balance that with academics is a testament of their great time management.”