ROGERS, Ark. — Andrew Benintendi said he made his decision to be a Hog after visiting Arkansas and witnessing the electric atmosphere at Baum Stadium while sitting behind home plate there during a baseball game.
Teni Butler and Dominique Scott both recalled how Fayetteville immediately “felt like home” and that Arkansas’s coaches, world-class facilities and beautiful campus were the deciding factors that helped them become Razorbacks.
These were just some of the personal and moving stories nine Razorback student-athletes shared with a packed crowd at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center Saturday night at the 19th Annual Red Tie Dinner and Auction Awards.
Red Tie is the premiere fundraising event for the Razorback Foundation, where student-athletes are honored for their exceptional performance on the field and in the classroom throughout their collegiate career.
The 2015-2016 honorees include:
Athlete of the Year
• Dominique Scott (Female Athlete of the Year, women’s track and field)
• Andrew Benintendi (Male Athlete of the Year, baseball)
Spirit of the Razorback
• Summar Roachell (Female Spirit of the Razorback, women’s golf)
• Brandon Allen (Male Spirit of the Razorback, football) and Bobby Portis (Male Spirit of the Razorback, men’s basketball
• Teni Butler (Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, soccer) and Maddie Monroe (Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, swimming and diving)
• Brooks Ellis (Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, football) and Christian Heymsfield (Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, men’s track and field)
Razorback Foundation supporters also generously bid on several high-profile live auction items, including dinner for ten with Arkansas football head coach Bret Bielema and his wife, Jen, with food prepared by Food Network Star winner and BBQ Blitz TV-show host and chef Eddie Jackson.
Other items offered up for auction were dinner with Arkansas basketball head coach Mike Anderson; a VIP trip to accompany the Razorback football team to an away game at either Auburn or TCU in the upcoming football season; a shopping spree at Blakeman’s Jewelry; and a VIP dinner at the homes of Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long, and Arkansas head coaches Lance Harter, Chris Bucknam, and Dave Van Horn.
More information on the individual student-athlete honorees and their accomplishments can be found below:
Earned USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award as the top amateur baseball player in the country … recipient of the Dick Howser Award which recognizes the nation’s top collegiate baseball player … Earned SEC Player of the Year honors and National Player of the Year honors by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America … Named SEC Male Athlete of the Year, the fourth Arkansas player to ever win the award … Became third highest MLB draft pick in school history, taken No. 7 overall by the Boston Red Sox … Was first Arkansas player to win SEC or National Player of the Year honors … Became third player in history of Southeastern Conference to lead the league in home runs and batting average … Only player in SEC history to win the batting title, home run crown, and be named the SEC Player of the Year by league head coaches … In Arkansas school history, a player has never hit 15 home runs and stolen 20 bases in a season, and Benintendi accomplished the feat in the first 47 games.
Two-time National Champion in the distance medley relay and 3,000-meter run … two-time silver medalist in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter run … Named National Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and a seven-time First Team All-American … three-time NCAA South Central Runner of the Year for indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country … NCAA South Central Regional Champion for cross country … Five-time SEC champion in the mile, 1500, 3000 and 5000-meter run and cross country … three-time SEC Runner of the Year for indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country … first runner in the history of the SEC to win three consecutive individual and team titles in 2015 … set six program records in the 1500, 3000, 5000, and 10,000-meter run and the mile.
2013 SEC First Year Honor Roll … SEC Honor Roll (4.0 GPA) for the Spring 2014, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters … 3.77 cumulative GPA … Named to the 2015 Academic All-District 6 First Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), which recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom … was Wuerffel Trophy Nominee for combining exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement … second on the football team in tackles (80) and ranking ninth in the SEC … has earned eight or more tackles 11 times in his career and five double-figure performances … second on the team in the following categories: Tackles for loss (5.5), career interceptions (3) and quarterback hurries (3).
Named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for cross country … SEC Cross Country runner-up … selected First Team All-SEC for cross country … NCAA Elite 89 winner in 2014 and repeat winner in 2015 (renamed to NCAA Elite 90) … 2015 Spring SEC Honor Roll … Holds 4.0 GPA … National Science Foundation award winner … Research Experience Undergraduate (NSF REU) at the Colorado Center for Bio-refining and Bio-products.
Earned 3.86 GPA while majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in physics and math … currently working on senior design project for Tyson Foods … volunteers on average 15 hours a semester and coached Prairie Grove swim team this summer … holds program record in 200 freestyle, 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay and 400 medley relay … has made two consecutive NCAA Championship appearance.
Maintains 3.94 GPA as a chemical engineering major with a minor in Spanish … elected University of Arkansas Freshman Engineer of the Year in 2013 … has made the SEC Academic Honor Roll every semester in addition to the Chancellor’s and Dean’s List … awarded an Honors College Study Abroad grant to study renewable and sustainable energy forms in Pamplona, Spain over the summer of 2013 … participated in a 10-day intensive renewable energy study with the GREEN Program Iceland Edition … team representative in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) … worked for Chords For a Cause and organized and performed in three separate benefit concerts (two in Fayetteville, Ark. and one in her hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn.) … has personally raised $1,700 in 2015 for charities through her music … participated in Razorback Soccer Clinics to help introduce college soccer to local youth.
Earned 3.60 GPA … set program records for most touchdown passes in a game (7, against Mississippi State in 2015) and overall career (63) … named SEC Player of the Week on Nov. 9 … two-time Manning Award Quarterback of the Week winner … named AutoZone National Player of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America on Nov. 10 … leads the SEC with 29 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 165.18 … Named one of 12 finalists for the Manning Award for 2015-16 … only three-time winner of Manning Award Quarterback of the Week this season … set program record with six touchdown passes against Auburn in four-overtime win before breaking it two weeks later with seven touchdown passes against Mississippi State, the most by an FBS quarterback this season and equaled an SEC record … finished month of November with 14 touchdown passes, good for third-highest in the nation during that time, and the most by an SEC quarterback since 2012 … surpassed Ryan Mallett as Arkansas’ career leader in touchdown passes (63) and tied 20th all-time in SEC history … became third player in Arkansas history to throw for 3,000 yards in a season … his three 400-yard games are a program best … will enter the Liberty Bowl second in Arkansas history in pass completions (563) and attempts (990), third in completion percentage (56.9) and fourth in yards (7,148).
Wooden Award Final 15 … Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Finalist (five players) … Oscar Robertson Trophy Finalist (14 players) … Lute Olson Award Finalist (21 players) … Associated Press SEC Player of the Year … SEC Player of the Year (coaches) … USBWA All-District VII Player of the Year … Scout.com SEC Player of the Year … Associated Press All-America Second Team … USBWA All-America Second Team … Sporting News All-America Third Team … Associated Press All-SEC First Team (unanimous) … All-SEC First Team (coaches) … USBWA All-District VII Team … NABC All-District 21 First Team … Scout.com All-SEC First Team … second Razorback to be named SEC Player of the Year … just the third sophomore to reach the 1,000-point plateau, joining Todd Day (1990) and Scotty Thurman (1994) … first player in program history with five straight double-doubles in SEC regular season action … program record nine double-doubles in SEC play … first player in program history with 30 points and 10 rebounds in an SEC game … first player in program history to go for 18+ points and 7+ rebounds in six straight games since Corliss Williamson in 1994 … just fifth player to record multiple 30-point games in his career against SEC opponents … had 27-game double figure scoring streak that surpassed Todd Day’s 25-game streak.
Was top female prepster in Arkansas when she signed with the Razorbacks … has made the cut in all Razorback tournament appearances and helped the team win one tournament title and three top-3 team finishes … is the 2015-16 marketing chair for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee … very active in community service; has participated in the following events: Book Hawgs, Sweat Hawgs, Canned Food Drive, Shop With SAAC, Ronald McDonald House, Jones Center Golf Tournament, Trick or Treat 5k, Jingle Bell Run For Arthritis, First Tee Trick or Treat Open, Potter House, Volunteer at First Tee of Central Arkansas … OK Kids Korral, Vender for Education Golf Tournament