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. The event marked the seventh year of the Golden Goldys and the 24th year of the Scholar Athlete banquet.
The Golden Goldys voting process included spring sports of 2012 (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 2012-13 athletic year.
For the second-consecutive year, women's hockey and wrestling took home the big awards as both programs walked away with the Best Team, Best Coach and Athlete of the Year.
Amanda Kessel was named Female Athlete of the Year after being named the top athlete in her sport (Patty Kazmaier Award). Kessel was the fourth player in NCAA history to tally 100 points in a single season. Named a First Team All-American, Kessel was also named the WCHA Player of the Year. Her linemate Hannah Brandt was named the Female Rookie of the Year. With the Gophers, Brandt was a First-Team All-WCHA, named the WCHA Freshman of the Year and the U.S. College Hockey Online Rookie of the Year. The Gopher women's hockey team, under the guidance of Frost, won its second-straight national championship. In 2012-13, the team went 41-0-0 and extended its winning streak to 49-straight games (dating back to 2011-12). Frost coached the team to a WCHA regular season and tournament championship en route to the second national title.
Wrestling's Tony Nelson earned his second-straight Male Athlete of the Year Golden Goldy as he won his second-consecutive NCAA heavyweight championship. Becoming the fifth Gopher wrestler to earn back-to-back NCAA crowns, Nelson went 33-1 this year and won his last 25 matches. Under the coaching duo of J Robinson and Brandon Eggum, the Gopher wrestling program finished third at the 2013 NCAA championships. Winning the National Duals, the Gophers had eight wrestlers earn All-America honors. Placing second at the 2013 Big Ten Championships, Minnesota had two individual Big Ten title winners in Nelson and Dylan Ness.
Female Breakthrough Athlete was volleyball's Katherine Harms. Having never received player of the week honors, Harms went on to become a unanimous All-Big Ten selection and a First Team All-American. Saving the best season for her last, Harms went from ranking third on the team in kills (305) and kills per set (2.82) as a junior to a team-high 516 kills and 4.10 kills pet set. Male Breakthrough Athlete of the Year went to men's basketball's Andre Hollins. As a sophomore, Hollins led Minnesota in scoring this past year. He increased scoring from 8.7 ppg to 14.6 ppg. He raised his assists per game from 1.8 to 3.4 and rebounding from 2.1 to 3.7 to become a third-team All-Big Ten honoree. Men's hockey's Adam Wilcox was named the Male Rookie of the Year. In his freshman campaign, Wilcox was named a third-team All-WCHA honoree. In 2012-13, Wilcox ranked second in the nation in wins and seventh in NCAA in goals-against average (1.88) as he set a school record in the same category. His .921 save percentage ranked second in program history.
The top academic awards were also handed out in the evening, including the Outstanding Achievement Award. It is presented to one male and one female student-athlete who are accomplished in both academics and athletics. This year's winners are women's hockey Noora Raty and men's track Quentin Mege.
A new addition to the Golden Goldys this year is the Outstanding Achievement in Leadership and Service award. These honorees include Olivia Bagnall (Soccer) and Josh Hall (Swimming).
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 and 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's tennis and the large team was cross country. The men's small team was men's gymnastics and the large team was swimming and diving.
The teams who had the most community service hours during the 2012-13 season was men's and women's basketball. This number is based on community service hours per team member. Softball was awarded the Gladys Brooks Commitment to Academic Excellence Award, while men's hockey was awarded the Norman Borlaug Commitment to Academic Excellence Award. Football's Connor Cosgrove received the Richard "Pinky" McNamara Student-Athlete Achievement Award. This award is given to a student-athlete 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.
Sport psychologists Dr. Carly Anderson and Dr. Justin Anderson were honored as this year's teammates of the year for their overall support of Gopher Athletics.