FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Athletic Department celebrated the academic and athletic accomplishments of the past year with the first HOGSPY Awards ceremony Thursday at the Fayetteville Town Center.
The night included recognition of student-athletes participating in the Rookie Razorback Leadership Academy, Emerging Leaders Razorback Academy and Veteran Razorback Leadership Academy, and concluded with the presentation of senior plaques and rings.
Several individual awards were also presented with quarterback Tyler Wilson and pole vaulter Tina Sutej earning Male and Female Student-Athlete of the Year honors, respectively. Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Year Jaime Pisani and baseball catcher James McCann were named Female and Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, respectively.
The Play of the Year went to Joe Adams for his punt return for a touchdown against Tennessee.
Men’s and women’s golf earned the Men’s and Women’s Academic Team of the Year awards, respectively. The top graduating senior award was shared by Sarah Howard and Lisa Lunkenheimer, both from the swimming and diving team.
The Burlsworth Award, which goes to student-athletes exhibiting Razorback character, service and achievement, went to football safety Seth Armbrust and soccer forward Kailey Anders.
The women’s basketball team received the Hog Tough Award, which goes to a team creating a shift in momentum resulting in a victory in a key contest, for the 72-71 victory at Tennessee on Feb. 23.
Rookie of the Year honors went to pole vaulter Andrew Irwin from track and field, and Emily Tubert from women’s golf.
Razorback Leadership Academy Distinguished Leader Awards were presented to Pisani and Genny Salvatore from gymnastics, Kendal Winston and Daniella O’Shea from soccer, Nikolas Zogaj from men’s tennis and Courtney O’Grady from swimming and diving.
Awards were based on competition completed between April 1, 2011, and April 1, 2012.
“In the past year, we have witnessed national championships, Southeastern Conference championships and many memorable athletic moments along the way,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “In the classroom and in the community, we have watched Razorback student-athletes reach new academic heights, including a large number of individuals walking across the stage to receive their diplomas. In the community, our student-athletes have already volunteered more than 5,000 hours to make a difference in the lives of others. It has been an unbelievably successful journey and we are all very proud of what our student-athletes have accomplished.”
The event was created and developed by the members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee with red carpet arrival to the Town Center from 6-6:45 p.m. and the ceremony beginning at 7 p.m. The event had been in the works since the spring of 2011, was made possible by a gift from Jeff Fox of the Circumference Group in Little Rock and will be hosted by ESPN’s Jimmy Dykes.
Head coaches made nominations for the various awards with all voting by a selection committee.
2012 HOGSPY Award Winners
Razorback Leadership Academy Distinguished Leader AwardJaime Pisani, gymnasticsGenny Salvatore, gymnasticsKendal Winston, soccerDaniella O’Shea, soccerNikolas Zogaj, men’s tennisCourtney O’Grady, swimming and diving
Male Rookie of the YearAndrew Irwin, track and field
Female Rookie of the YearEmily Tubert, golf
Top Graduating SeniorSarah Howard & Lisa Lunkenheimer, swimming and diving
Hog Tough AwardWomen’s basketball for 72-71 win at Tennessee
Male Burlsworth AwardSeth Armbrust, football
Female Burlsworth AwardKailey Anders, soccer
Male Academic Team of the YearMen’s golf
Female Academic Team of the YearWomen’s golf
Male Student-Athlete of the YearTyler Wilson, football
Female Student-Athlete of the YearTina Sutej, track and field
Play of the YearJoe Adams punt return for a touchdown against Tennessee
Female Scholar-Athlete of the YearJaime Pisani, gymnastics
Male Scholar-Athlete of the YearJames McCann, baseball