SAAC Announces Inaugural Student-Athlete Awards

SAAC Announces Inaugural Student-Athlete Awards

The 2010-11 academic year at Butler was a magical one. The Bulldogs captured a long list of league championships, made a return trip to the NCAA Men's Final Four and reached levels of excellence in academics. The following are the winners for 2010-11, the first year the SAAC has sponsored awards for students, voted on by students.


Butler Way Award

The Butler Way demands commitment, denies selfishness and accepts reality, yet seeks constant improvement while promoting the good of the team above selfThe Butler Way Award will be given to a female and male athlete who best represents the Butler Way.  

Male Winner: Matt Howard
Female Winner: Sarah Phelps

Finalists: Jeff Poss, Conner Burt, Brent Sever, Azjah Bass, Cam Thompson, Mallory Winters


Unsung Hero Award

The Unsung Hero award will be given to a male and female athlete who goes above and beyond the expectations of their teammates and coaching staff. The athlete chosen is someone who puts in the extra effort day in and day out without expecting praise or recognition. An Unsung Hero demonstrates leadership qualities while putting the team above themselves. 

Male Winner: Grant Leinendecker
Female Winner: Mary Allen

Finalists: Andy Holte, Craig Jordan, Colin Reenan, Marbeth Shiell, Jen Chasteen, Kate Panawash, Maureen Nesbit, Devin Brierly


Butler Play of the Year

Defined as the single best athletic instance or play, the Play of the Year award will be given to an individual athlete or athletes who played a significant role in the most impressive sports play. 

Winner: Erin Falkenberry hit three consecutive home runs in a game at Detroit. In all, she hit five home runs during the series.

Finalists: Jacob Capito's game-winning goal at Indiana, Chrishawn Hopkins' 3-pointer in the regional final vs. Florida, baseball relay throw, Brandon Bayliss' match-clinching win at Mercer


Butler Sports Moment of the Year

The Butler Sports Moment of the Year will be awarded to a team that reaches a defining point in their season that best represents the Butler student-athlete’s commitment to excellence.

Winner: Matt Howard's buzzer beater in the NCAA Tournament vs. Old Dominion.

Finalists: Butler's crucial 16-inning softball win over Cleveland State, the women's tennis team's four wins over perennial tough teams Illinois State, Western Michigan, Xavier and Evansville, Fabian Knopfler's saves during penalty kicks to clinch the Horizon League Men's Soccer Championship


Butler Team of the Year

The Team of the Year award will be given to the team with the most success throughout their season. Records, significant wins, regular season standings, tournament championships, and NCAA tournament success will all be criteria for judging. 

Winner: Men's Basketball (28-10, Horizon League champion, national runner-up)

Finalists: Men's Soccer (16-1-3, undefeated regular season, Horizon League champion, #13 national seed in NCAA Tournament), Volleyball (21-10, Horizon League champion, NCAA Tournament appearance), Men's Cross Country (Horizon League champion for 13th straight year)


All-Butler Team

The All Butler Team will be composed of 17 athletes, one athlete from each sport. Cross Country will have a male and female representative and Track and Field will have one representative from the track and field component. Intra-team voting will occur to nominate the representative athlete.

Baseball: Grant Fillipitch
Men's Basketball: Shelvin Mack
Women's Basketball: Brittany Bowen
Men's Cross Country: Madison Roeder
Women's Cross Country: Katie Clark
Football: Nick Caldicott 
Men's Golf: Ryan Wegeng
Women's Golf: Michele Nash
Men's Soccer: Ben Sippola
Women's Soccer: Sarah Phelps
Softball: Jenny Esparza
Swimming: Kathleen Brannen
Men's Tennis: Brandon Bayliss
Women's Tennis: Natali Jaimes
Men's Track: Kris Gauson
Women's Track: K Legg
Volleyball: Jessie Wolfe