ARLINGTON, Texas -- Student-athletes, coaches, staff and supporters of UTA Athletics gathered this week to celebrate the successful 2016-17 season at the department's annual All Sports Banquet in College Park Center.
The annual event, sponsored by Texas Trust Credit Union, honors Maverick student-athletes, top performers and noteworthy performances from the past year. The department also recognized 62 seniors who will graduate this spring.
"Although the season hasn't quite ended and we hope to win a couple more championships this month, our student-athletes have put together another excellent year competitively and in the classroom," said UTA director of athletics Jim Baker. "Having an opportunity to gather together to celebrate our accomplishments is an important part of the family-oriented culture at UTA."
Nearly 500 attendees enjoyed a Maverick Club pre-banquet reception, a BBQ dinner provided by Spring Creek Barbeque and a variety of presentations and entertaining sport-produced videos.
In addition, each team produced and submitted entertaining videos that were played throughout the evening. Members of the department's student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC) voted for the best submission, which was won by the men's golf team.
Baseball's Brady Cox and women's track and field pole vaulter Priscilla Glenn were recipients of the UTA Athletic Alumni Chapter Student-Athletes of the Year, awarded to the top male and female student-athletes who demonstrated excellence in competition and academics.
Cox is a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award is a first team all-Sun Belt selection, was on this year's preseason watch list for the Johnny Bench Award and will graduate with a degree in inter-disciplinary studies. Glenn is one of the program's all-time leaders in the pole vault and recently received the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Award in the field of genetics. She will graduate with a degree in biology and owns a 3.927 grade point average.
Women's basketball junior Rebekah VanDijk and men's basketball graduate student Drew Charles earned recognition as the program's B.G. Wilson Scholar-Athletes of the Year. VanDijk earned first-team all-Sun Belt honors, is active in the community and has begun graduate studies in the college of business. Charles will receive his master's degree in business administration this spring after a career as one of the top shooters and the winningest player in program history.
Women's basketball senior Allyson Te'o was honored with the Texas Trust Star Award, given to the student-athlete who embodies the true spirit of being a Maverick. Te'o, a native of Fort Worth, owns a 3.57 grade point average and will graduate later this month with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. She served as the vice president of the SAAC and demonstrated a commitment to service with a number of volunteer activities throughout her career.
Men's golf senior Josh Radcliff and women's track and field sophomore Emoni Taylor earned the department's Big Al Community Service Award, given to the male and female student-athletes who dedicate the most time service the community. The award is named in honor of UTA professor Allan Saxe.
The women's tennis team was recognized for achieving the highest combined cumulative grade point average among the program's 14 intercollegiate sports with a 3.14.
Among the team championships recognized throughout the evening were Sun Belt titles won by the men's cross country, men's indoor track and men's basketball teams, as well as the eighth National Wheelchair Basketball Association championship by the men's Movin' Mavs.
UTA's faculty athletics representative Dr. Barry McKeown was honored as this year's recipient of the Faculty-Staff Loyalty Award. Presented by former UTA athletic director Pete Carlon, the award recognizes a member of the campus community for their support of student-athlete academic and academic achievement. McKeown has served as the department's faculty athletics representative for nearly 15 years.
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