NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Monroe College, a national leader in educating urban and international students, congratulates former Monroe College Track & Field star Tautvydas "TK" Kieras on signing a three-year contract with the National Football League's (NFL) Kansas City Chiefs.
Kieras, a native of Vilnius, Lithuania, came to Monroe in 2011 on an athletic scholarship to join the college's nationally ranked Track & Field program. During his time at Monroe, he was a two-time All-American, winning two consecutive NJCAA discus championships. An honors student, Kieras graduated Monroe with an Associate's degree in Business Administration. He continued his education at Mississippi State University on a Track & Field scholarship.
On March 17, Kieras signed a contract with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. Although he never played football, he caught the eye of team scouts while participating in Mississippi State's Pro Day earlier in the month. The Chiefs flew him to their facility for a private workout and subsequently signed him as a free agent.
"TK's journey from the discus field to the gridiron is an incredible story, and we congratulate him on this extraordinary accomplishment," said Mark Goodman, TK's former coach at Monroe College. "He is a very driven and determined individual, with a fierce competitive spirit and willingness to learn. Those traits will serve him well as a player for the Chiefs, just as they had when he was an honors student at Monroe."
Launched in 2007, Monroe College's Track & Field program competes in the NJCAA Division 1. Head Coach Lesleigh Hogg was just named the Atlantic Region Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). His colleague, Shirvon Greene, was named the Assistant Coach of the Year, taking both the regional and national title. As further testament to the strength of Monroe College's Indoor Track & Field Program, three Monroe College students were also recognized for their outstanding performance this season. Jaymes Dennison, who set a new school record in the 600 meters at Nationals this month, was named the region's Male Track Athlete of the Year, while Susan Ejore, who won the 1000 meter and mile races at Nationals and was part of the winning distance medley team, was named the region's Female Track Athlete of the Year. Breaisha Morton, who impressed all at Nationals with her winning 1.71 meter jump, was named the region's Female Field Athlete of the Year.
Overall, the Monroe College Athletic Department fields teams in numerous sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, football, softball, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track & field, and volleyball. All Monroe teams are members of the National Junior College Athletic Association and participate in NJCAA Region XV.
Monroe Mustangs men's and women's basketball, football, men's and women's soccer, volleyball and baseball are Division I programs, as are all of the track & field and cross country teams. The women's softball team competes in Division II.