When we scheduled a 9 o’clock interview with Connor McCaffery, he was polite, enthusiastic and endearing right off the bat. “Do you know about how long it’s going to take?” he asked, “I just have to go to an elementary school nearby at 10.”

Elite basketball and baseball player, academic all-star, and role model for kids, Connor McCaffery embodies all the values Country Cool celebrates. As our brand ambassador, he recognizes the importance of the American farmer, and shares many of the same qualities: Hard work and determination. Devotion to friends, family and community. Quiet pride and humble attitude.

“I moved to Iowa when I was about 12 or 13, and I didn’t know what to expect,” Connor said. “I learned pretty quickly how valuable farmers are to the state and the people here. And how important a strong work ethic is. ”

Connor’s no stranger to hard work and a grueling schedule. Prior to injuries that ended his college baseball career, he was a two-sport athlete at the University of Iowa, spending his time working out, going to practice and playing games 11 out of 12 months of the year. “There was no off-season, but I enjoyed it.” He shrugged, “You get used to it.”

Now a sixth-year senior, Connor plays guard on the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball team under Fran McCaffery, his accomplished coach and dad. “Being a guard is a humbling position, and I try to do it with pride. I’ve never been a guy expecting to come into a game and shoot 8-10 shots. My game has always been getting the ball to those guys.”

Connor’s known unofficially as the “coach on the court,” mentoring younger players to help them succeed. “I’m older and wiser — I’ve got some years on the younger guys,” he joked. “I’ve tried to step up and be a vocal leader and be someone the other guys can lean on. It’s something that’s important to me.”

Not only does Connor mentor college kids on the court, but he also spends a lot of time with grade-school kids off the court. “I really like going and meeting with kids in elementary schools. They’re funny, they’re genuine and they want to learn. There’s so much you can teach them. Sometimes I hang out with kids who’ve behaved well, as a reward. Sometimes I hang out with kids who haven’t behaved so well, to talk with them. I try to be somebody who’s just there for them. I truly enjoy it.”

The ultimate triple threat, Connor excels in his work with adolescents, athletics and academics. Distinguished Scholar, Academic Big Ten, Dean’s List, President’s List — name a nerd list and he’s on it. After studying business, wealth management and math, Connor first graduated with a degree in finance, then picked up a political science major as his interest in politics grew.

He’s so good at so many things, he’s bound to be a little arrogant, right? Wrong. “My mom is honestly pretty competitive, pretty intense,” he explained, “but she hates arrogance.” A standout basketball player in her own right, Margaret McCaffery was an All-American at Notre Dame, where she played for four years. “She’s just as helpful as my dad, giving me just as much advice,” he said. Advice about basketball and advice about life: It’s never as good or as bad as it seems. Stay true to your roots. Put your head down and work.

Connor McCaffery embodies all the qualities we value in American farmers. Is it any wonder we wanted him to be the brand ambassador for Country Cool? “I’m proud to be Iowan, and I’m proud to collaborate with a brand that celebrates working hard, enjoying life and staying humble,” he said. “Plus I like the style — the stuff is really nice. I think the hat and tees are cool, and I love the jacket and hoodies. They have more of a simple design, which is perfect for what I like to wear.” Connor concluded, “Most of all, I like that Country Cool is connecting Americans and farmers.”

Score big with your own Country Cool style — check out Connor McCaffery’s favorites.