2015 Golden Goldys Handed Out


April 13, 2015

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The University of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics department recognized both the athletic and academic achievements by honoring its 750 student-athletes in a Golden Goldys/Scholar Athlete banquet, tonight at TCF Bank Stadium. It was the ninth-annual Golden Goldys recognition and 26th of the Scholar Athlete banquet.

The Golden Goldys voting process included spring sports of 2014 (baseball, men's and women's golf, rowing, softball, men's and women's outdoor track & field and men's and women's tennis) and the fall and winter sports of the 2014-15 athletic year.

Gopher Football and Gopher women's hockey took home the team and coach of year awards after a stellar season this past year. Football went 8-5 in the 2014 season, which led the program to the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, the first January bowl game for the Gophers since 1962. For the first time since 1967, the Gophers captured both the Little Brown Jug against Michigan and Floyd of Rosedale against Iowa. They also earned their first road win against a top-25 opponent since 2000, beating Nebraska in Lincoln. Head coach Jerry Killwas named was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by both the league's head coaches (Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year) and media (Dave McClain Coach of the Year).

Head coach Brad Frost led the Gopher women's hockey team to the program's sixth national championship, and third under his tutelage. The Gophers won the WCHA regular season title, held the No. 1 seed in the national tournament and finished the season with a 34-3-4 overall record. Minnesota owns six national championships, a NCAA record, as the Gophers previously earned titles in 2013 and 2012. Minnesota added four first team All-Americans as well as garnering the WCHA Player of the Year (Hannah Brandt) and Defensive Player of the Year (Rachel Ramsey).

Football's David Cobb also took home the Male Athlete of the Year. Continuing to build on his success from 2013, Cobb scored 13 touchdowns (tied for third most in a season) for Minnesota in 2014 and had seven 100-yard rushing games (tied for second most in a single season). He also caught 16 passes for 162 yards and completed one pass for 9 yards en route to being named All-Big Ten Second Team by the coaches and media. Cobb received the team's Bronko Nagurski Award (team most valuable player).

Women's basketball's Amanda Zahui B. was named the Female Athlete of the Year after her sophomore campaign. The first Associated Press All-America first team selection in Gophers program history, Zahui was also recognized as an All-American by the United States Basketball Writers Association and espnW. The Stockholm, Sweden native became just the sixth Gopher in program history to be named a Wade Trophy Finalist and the first in 10 years, as well as the third Naismith Trophy finalist in program history.Earning the media's selection for Big Ten Player of the Year, Zahui was a unanimous All-Big Ten first team honoree, and was named to the conference's All-Defensive Team as well in 2014-15.

The Outstanding Student-Athlete Achievement Award is presented to one male and one female who are accomplished in both areas of academics and athletics.Men's gymnast Ellis Mannon is coming off the sport's highest achievement as he won theprestigious Nissen-Emery Award. In the past two seasons, Mannon won the Big Ten title in the pommel horse as well as becoming a two-time All-American. As a junior, he also won the NCAA title in the same event. Outside of the gym, Mannon has worked toward dual degrees in Chemical Engineering and Economics with additional minors in Chemistry and Mathematics. He holds an overall GPA of 3.205. Kaitlyn Richardson helped the Gopher softball team to four 30-plus win seasons, two NCAA Tournament appearances, the team's first-ever NCAA super regional appearance and its first Big Ten Tournament title since 1999. Richardson is two-time All-American and has hit for a .392 average with 38 home runs and 168 runs batted in. A human resources and industrial relations major with a marketing minor in the Carlson School of Management, Richardson has excelled in the classroom. A four-time member of the Dean's List, she was a 2013 CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-American and a 2014 NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete.

Football's Luke McAvoy and swimming and diving's Christie Clarke were awarded Outstanding Achievement Award in Leadership and Service, given to student-athletes who are accomplished in the areas of leadership and volunteerism.McAvoy is the student-athlete advisory council president (SAAC) and an instrumental in numerous activities including HopeDay, Maroon Madness, campaigns and Unlimited. In his time at Minnesota, McAvoy logged 184.3 hours with M.A.G.I.C. (Maroon and Gold Impacting the Community) as well as 87 additional hours in the classroom. Clarke was a SAAC executive board member, as well as an executive board member for the Unlimited Dance Marathon. The captain of the swim team, Clarke was also the Big Ten Sportsmanship award recipient. She was also a Big Ten SAAC representative. In her time with M.A.G.I.C., Clarke logged 482 community service hours. McAvoy will graduate with a degree in English, while Clarke will graduate with an applied economics.

The 2015 Breakthrough Athletes of the Year went to volleyball's Paige Tapp and football's Maxx Williams. After seeing action in 21 sets as a freshman in 2013, Tapp broke through during her sophomore campaign last year and became an All-American. The All-Big Ten selection played in all 31 matches as a sophomore and averaged 1.55 blocks per set and 171 total blocks. The two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week finished the regular season as the nation's third-best blocker and led the Big Ten Conference in blocks per set. Williams played in 12 games in 2014 and led the Gophers in receptions (36), receiving yards (569) and touchdowns (8) en route to being named First Team All-American by Sporting News, the Football Writers Association of America and by Phil Steele. Williams was named the Kwalick-Clark Big Ten Tight End of the Year and was named All-Big Ten First Team by the coaches and media.

Softball and men's golf took home the Male and Female Rookie of the Year awards. Sara Groenewegen helped lead the Gopher softball team to a NCAA Super Regional in 2014. She became Minnesota's first Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and also won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year Award, becoming the third player in conference history to earn both accolades in the same season. A First Team All-Big Ten selection, Groenwegen was also a NFCA Division I All-Great Lakes Region Second Team and a top-10 NFCA National Freshman of the Year finalist. Jose Mendez from the men's golf team led the Gophers to a Big Ten Championship in 2014. In his first year with the program, Mendez was a Big Ten medalist, the Big Ten Freshman of the year and an All-Big Ten First Team selection. As a GCAA All-Freshman selection, the rookie won three tournament and posted seven top 10 finishes. His season stroke average of 71.97 in 12 tournaments ranks third in program history.

The Outstanding Academic Team Award was presented to the men and women's teams representing both large and small team categories. Large teams are made up of 22 members or more, as small teams are made up of 21 members or less and includes the GPAs of the past spring and fall semesters. The women's small team was women'sgolf and the large team was women's track & field. The men's small team was men's tennis and the large team was swimming and diving.

The Top Five Award was handed out, which is given to the top five male and female student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average: Jessica Flakne (rowing), Rebecca Dyson (track/cc), Erica Meyer (softball), Jessica Plant(swimming) and Rebecca Rethwisch (cc/track) on the women's side.From the men's teams it was: Jack Metcalf (men's gymnastics), Mathieu Froment (tennis), Matthew Jergenson (track & field), Michael Kroells (wrestling) and Joshua Shupe (wrestling). Plant and Christopher Johnson were awarded the Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship.

The teams who had the most community service hours during the 2014-15 season was women's track and cross country and men's tennis. This number is based on community service hours per team member. Volleyball was awarded the Gladys Brooks Commitment to Academic Excellence Award, while men's gymnastics was awarded the Norman Borlaug Commitment to Academic Excellence Award.

Peter Westerhauswas given the Richard Pinky McNamara Student-Athlete Achievement Award, which is given to an individual who has inspired all by making an extraordinary effort to succeed despite difficult circumstances, preserving during a time of tremendous adversity and/or overcoming a great challenge. Westerhaus suffered an injury that ended his Gopher football career, but did not end his ability to graduate from Carlson School of Management and currently train for a triathlon. Read about his story here.

The Teammate of the Year award went to longtime University of Minnesota employee Marty Bussman. The Tom H. Swain Campus Recognition Award was given to International Student and Scholar Services (Marissa Hill-Dongre and Chiho Wantanabe)

Female Athlete of the Year
•Hannah Brandt, Hockey
•Lindsay Mable, Gymnastics
•Kaitlyn Richardson, Softball
•Kierra Smith, Swimming
•Amanda Zahui B., Basketball
•Yu Zhou, Diving

Male Athlete of the Year
•David Cobb, Football
•Chris Dardanes, Wrestling
•Ellis Mannon, Gymnastics
•Mike Reilly, Hockey
•Leandro Toledo, Tennis
•Luca Wieland, Track & Field

Female Rookie of the Year
•Danielle Anderson, Cross Country
•Sara Groenewegen, Softball
•Kelly Pannek, Hockey
•Carlie Wagner, Basketball
•Brooke Zeiger, Swimming

Male Rookie of the Year
•Nate Mason, Basketball
•Conner McHugh, Swimming
•Jose Mendez, Golf
•Yaroslav Pochinka, Gymnastics
•Trevor Yedoni, Track & Field

Female Breakthrough Athlete Of the Year
•Erin Hawkins, Track & Field
•Lynn Hodnett, Rowing
•Shayne Mullaney, Basketball
•Josee Stiever, Soccer
•Paige Tapp, Volleyball

Male Breakthrough Athlete of the Year
•Matt Barnard, Diving
•Aaron Bartnik, Cross Country
•Travis Boyd, Hockey
•Mitch Hechsel, Track & Field
•Maxx Williams, Football

Best Female Team
• Hockey
• Softball
• Swimming & Diving
• Cross Country
• Basketball

Best Male Team
• Golf
• Football
• Hockey
• Wrestling

Best Women's Team Coach
•Jessica Allister, Softball
•Brad Frost, Hockey
•Kelly Kremer, Swimming & Diving
•Marlene Stollings, Basketball

Best Men's Team Coach
•John Carlson, Golf
•Jerry Kill, Football
•Don Lucia, Hockey
•Mike Burns, Gymnastics

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