(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah—BYU Athletics celebrated athletic and academic success at the 2015 Y Awards ceremony Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.
Seventeen student-athletes, two coaches and two teams were honored as part of this year’s Y Awards. Among the honorees were women’s volleyball player Alexa Gray, named Female Athlete of the Year, as well as men’s basketball player Tyler Haws, who was named Male Athlete of the Year.
Women's volleyball coach Shawn Olmstead was named Coach of the Year after leading his team, which was named Women’s Team of the Year, to the national championship match of the 2014 NCAA Tournament and a West Coast Conference title. The 2014 men’s volleyball team took home Men’s Team of the Year honors for its run to the national semifinals of the 2014 NCAA Tournament and its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title.
Rookie of the Year awards were given to women's track and field's Shea Martinez and football's Tejan Koroma.
See below for a complete list of Y Awards winners.
Y Awards winners are selected by votes from their fellow student-athletes. Each head coach nominates one athlete from their team for each of the categories. The Cougar Council, a group of athletes comprised of two representatives from every team, narrows down the candidates prior to the general athlete voting. Award qualifications are based on competition from April 2014 to March 2015.
For the second year in a row, Game of the Year was the only award not decided by the Cougar Council. It was instead decided by Cougar Nation, which voted via social media.
The event was hosted by BYU Sports Nation's Spencer Linton and Jarom Jordan and was open to the public for a second-consecutive year.
2015 Y Awards Winners
Female Rookie of the Year— Shea Martinez (women's track and field)
This award is given to the female freshman student athlete who contributes the most in her true freshman or redshirt freshman year.
Was one of only two freshmen in the entire country to qualify for the NCAA championships in the 800m run
2014 Honorable Mention All-American in the 800m run
800m run champion at the BYU Robison Invitational
Other finalists: Sydney Broderick (softball), Elisabeth Phillips (soccer), Alohi Robins-Hardy (women’s volleyball).
Male Rookie of the Year— Tejan Koroma (football)
This award is given to the male freshman student athlete who contributes the most in his true freshman or redshirt freshman year.
Earned Freshman All-American honors from all five sponsoring organizations while helping the BYU offense average the most points since the 2001 season
Named FBS Independent Freshman of the Year and to the All-Independent Team by a nationwide media panel
The only true freshman in the country to start all 13 games at center in 2014
Other finalists: Tim Dobbert (men's volleyball), Connor McMillan (men's cross country).
Comeback Player of the Year— Kyle Collinsworth (men's basketball)
Given to the athlete (male or female) who has overcome incredible odds to succeed as a Cougar Athlete.
Suffered a torn ACL on March 11, 2014 during the WCC championship game in Las Vegas
The only player in the country ranked in the top 100 in assists (16th, 5.8), steals (61st, 1.84) and rebounds (42nd, 8.7) while adding 14.0 points per game
Holds the NCAA record for triple-doubles in a season and tied for the most triple-doubles in a career
Other finalists: Taylor Campbell Isom (soccer), Tyrell Yardley (men's track and field).
Lu Wallace Outstanding Senior Female Athlete Award— Jennifer Hamson (women's volleyball)
The oldest recognition bestowed upon a BYU female athlete, given to the senior who has most clearly demonstrated high athletic and academic performance and sportsmanship
Led the team in kills (3.83 per set) and aces (28) while finishing third in blocks (163 total), fifth in digs (1.52 per set) and second in the conference in total points (4.76 per set) in 2014; Ended her BYU career in the rally-scoring era second in kills (1,554), third in kills per set (3.71), fifth in hitting percentage (.315), fourth in blocks (494) and third in sets played (429)
Graduated with a degree in exercise science with a 3.48 GPA and is pursuing post baccalaureate studies
Named MVP of the Seattle Region in the NCAA Tournament, helping her team advance to the Final Four, while also being named to the Oklahoma City All-Tournament team
Other finalists: Annie Amos (soccer), Ashley Garfield (women's basketball).
Ed Stein Outstanding Senior Male Athlete Award— Francis Sargent (men's tennis)
The oldest recognition bestowed upon a BYU male athlete, given to the senior who has most clearly demonstrated high athletic and academic performance and sportsmanship.
Climbing charts of BYU singles victories record- currently No. 7 on the list with 85 victories and was named to All-WCC Second Team in singles last season
Made first team accolades in the 2013-2014 season, being the only member of the BYU men’s tennis program to make the WCC All-Academic team (2nd year in doing so)
Showed incredible sportsmanship as a leader on and off the court as a member of the SAAC
Other finalists: Jordan Leslie (football), Hayden Palmer (men's swimming).
Walk-on of the Year— Mitchell Juergens (football)
This award is given to one non-scholarship athlete (male or female) at BYU who plays a significant role on his or her team.
Played in every game and earned 11 starts as a sophomore in his first season of action on the field for BYU
Finished third on the team in both receptions (28) and receiving yards (424) while averaging 15.1 yards per catch
Recorded a career high of 7 catches for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns to help BYU defeat California in Berkeley to end the regular season
Other finalists: Alli Tippets (women's swimming), McKenzie Weir (women's cross country).
Cougar Club Memorial Award— Sarah Chambers (soccer)
Established in memory of eight Cougar Club members who lost their lives in an airplane crash at the Point of the Mountain in November of 1965, given to an outstanding junior male or female athlete with high scholarly achievement.
Maintains a 3.91 GPA while majoring in Chemical Engineering
Named to Capital One Academic All-District Team, WCC All-Academic Team and NSCAA Scholar All-West Region Honorable Mention
Switched from forward to outside back in the offseason and started every game at left back in 2014
Other finalists: Lea Garner (women's golf), Lacey Millett Hofstedt (softball).
Leona Holbrook Spirit of Sport Award— Xojian Harry (women's basketball)
Presented in memory of Dr. Leona B. Holbrook, given to the senior female athlete whose participation best exemplifies the true spirit of sport in athletics and in life.
Played in all games, starting in the last 16, averaging over 25 minutes of playing time
Picked up career bests in points with 15, in rebounds with seven, assists with four, and steals with three
Had four games where she’s scored in double figures and seven games where she’s recorded at least three assists
Other finalists: Tambre Haddock Nobles (women's volleyball), Katherine Snyder (soccer).
Dale McCann Spirit of Sport Award— Skyler Halford (men's basketball)
Presented in memory of Dale R. McCann, given to the senior male athlete whose participation best exemplifies the true spirit of sport in athletics and in life.
Led BYU in 3-point field goal percentage (48.0%) and was second in free throw percentage (88.1%) and third in assists per game (2.3)
Averaged 8.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.5 3-pointers per game and was among BYU’s most energetic players
Played his best basketball over the last nine games of the season, averaging 12.6 points, 2.4 assists while shooting 54.5% from the field and 53.0% from three
Other finalists: Craig Bills (football), Jared Ward (men's track and field).
Female Crowd Pleaser— Lexi Eaton (women's basketball)
Presented to the female athlete whose enthusiasm and outstanding performance have given extra excitement to the crowd.
Named the 2015 WCC Championships Most Outstanding Player, named WCC Women’s Basketball First Team
Led the team and the WCC in scoring, averaging 21.4 points per game while pulling down 6.8 rebounds for third best on the team
Had the team’s best 3-point field goal percentage and recorded 30 games scoring in double digits – including 16 with 20-plus points
Other finalists: Amy Boswell (women's volleyball), Toby Miclat (women's tennis), Emily Vidmar (gymnastics).
Male Crowd Pleaser— Josue Rivera (men's volleyball)
Presented to the male athlete whose enthusiasm and outstanding performance have given extra excitement to the crowd.
Started in 23 matches - only missing one due to injury as a junior – and has started in six so far this season
Totaled 217 kills, 26 aces, 146 digs and 76 blocks in 2014 – has averaged 1.9 kills per set in 2015 after missing the first few matches due to injury
Helped lead his team to a first place MPSF conference and tournament finish and Final Four appearance in 2014
Other finalists: Paul Lasike (football), Robin Pfister (men's tennis), Anson Winder (men's basketball).
Female Athlete of the Year— Alexa Gray (women’s volleyball)
Given to the female athlete who demonstrates the competitive spirit of desire, dedication and determination, leading her to the top of competition and serving as an inspiration to both teammates and fans.
Named the 2014 WCC Player of the Year and added to the All-WCC First Team
Entered the 1,000 kills club in 2014 after her 424 pushed her to 1,266 total (11th on the all-time list)
Added to both the NCAA Seattle Region and Oklahoma City All-Tournament teams
Other finalists: Morgan Bailey (women's basketball), Ashley Hatch (soccer).
Male Athlete of the Year— Tyler Haws (men’s basketball)
Given to the male athlete who demonstrates the competitive spirit of desire, dedication and determination, leading him to the top of competition and serving as an inspiration to both teammates and fans.
A finalist for the Jerry West Award and the Senior CLASS Award and on the Wooden Award Ballot
Third in the nation and first in the WCC in scoring at 21.9 points per game to go with a streak of 10-straight games with 20-plus points
Passed Jimmer Fredette as BYU’s all-time leading scorer and currently holds career records for free throw percentage, free throws made, 20-point games, double-figure games, minutes played and starts
Other finalists: Jake Taylor (men's swimming), Shaquille Walker (men's track and field).
Coach of the Year— Shawn Olmstead (women’s volleyball)
Assistant Coach of the Year— Paul Tidwell (football)
Women’s Team of the Year— 2014 women’s volleyball
Men’s Team of the Year— 2014 men’s volleyball
Kimball Memorial Award— Maria Yacaman (women's golf)
Floyd Johnson Service Award— Adam Hine (football)
Play of the Year— Lacey Millett Hofstedt (Inside-the-park grand slam vs. Oregon)
Performance of the Year— Jennifer Hamson (Sweet Sixteen match vs. Florida State)
Game of the Year— Men's basketball at Gonzaga