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Volleyball All-American Chloe Mann with Keith Carodine, UF's senior associate athletic director for academic affairs.

Friday April 25, 2014Mann Headlines Star-Studded Academic Senior Class

Volleyball All-American Chloe Mann with Keith Carodine, UF's senior associate athletic director for academic affairs.

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry Senior Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Thanks to a college application crammed with the max-out number of AP credits, Chloe Mann was deep into her sophomore year before taking a seat in her first class at the University of Florida.

Sixty credits, by way of the International Baccalaureate program at Gainesville Eastside High, to be exact.

“I knew coming in here that I had a strong academic background and I wanted to maximize my time here at Florida,” said Mann, a two-time All-America middle blocker for the UF volleyball team and all-time NCAA leader in hitting percentage. “I set my plan early to push myself.”

Mann spoke Thursday alongside fellow Florida student-athletes at a luncheon honoring UF’s Class of 2014 graduates at the Gator Room. All told, 64 will make the walk across the O’Connell Center stage either next weekend or later in the summer. Of those, 42 will have garnered made the All-Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll, with eight leaving UF as Academic All-Americans.

Let's not forget that wrapped on that collective academic resume are members of 28 SEC championship teams and nine national championship teams over the last five years.

Mann, winner of the 2014 Tracy Caulkins Award that recognizes achievement in academics, athletics, leadership and community service, actually already took the undergraduate walk.

Her next stroll will be for her master’s degree in information sciences and operations management.

“It’s tough to do any better than that,” said Dr. Keith Carodine, UF’s senior associate athletic director for academic affairs. “That’s just very, very special.”

Mann, 23, is one of a handful of out-going student-athletes who will exit the university with undergraduate and graduate degrees.

“It wasn’t just the master’s, it’s what the master’s was,” Gators volleyball coach Mary Wise said. “That’s a very niche [degree] and very difficult. We’ve had other players here in masters’ programs, but what she was in was for the best and brightest. And at the same time, she’s competing against the best on the volleyball court. Who does that? You’d expect something to give. How can you be great in both? But she showed.”

Mann’s short-term plan is to head overseas and take a shot at professional volleyball -- Spain, France, Italy perhaps -- before making the jump into the career world.

She’s clearly prepared for whatever is next.

“I was motivated to maximize my time here at Florida,” Mann said. “With the support system here in place and the backing of my coaches, I think I was able to do that. I’m ready for the next challenge.”

As for Wise, she has a challenge, too.

How will the Gators replace Chloe Mann?

“We won’t,” Wise said. “We can’t.”


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