By Mike Lehman, TTU Athletics Data
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech Athletics wrapped up its recognition of the ideal and brightest of its more than 300 student-athletes by releasing the ultimate two winners of its 2021 Golden Wings Awards.
On Friday, the two maximum honors bestowed by Tech Athletics ended up introduced. The Girl of the Yr award, the department’s longest-standing recognition, was set up in 1991 in conjunction with the NCAA Woman of the Year honor. Signing up for 32 preceding winners of the Lady of the Yr award was volleyball’s Ali Verzani. Gavin Johns of the baseball workforce was named Gentleman of the Calendar year, an award that was born in 1993 and has viewed 27 winners.
To be eligible for every single award, a university student-athlete need to be a senior or graduate university student who has completed her athletic eligibility for the duration of 2020-21. Requirements for selecting the award consist of both athletic and academic accomplishments, as well as supplemental areas these as community and campus involvement and general public support functions.
A senior exterior hitter, Verzani was a model scholar in the classroom and dominant force on the volleyball courtroom all through her a few-year job at Tech soon after transferring in from Iowa Western Group College or university in 2018.
The Sioux Town, Iowa indigenous carried a excellent 4. GPA whilst earning her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary research in December 2019 and adopted it up with a different best 4. GPA even though accumulating her master’s in enterprise administration in Could 2021. Verzani was a member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in each of her six semesters at Tech and a two-time member of the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
She also claimed the OVC Scholar Athlete of the 12 months award for 2020-21, the optimum honor that can be acquired by an OVC pupil-athlete. In addition, she acquired the OVC Educational Medal of Honor twice.
Verzani was consistently concerned all-around campus and the group in her time at Tech, serving as an educational tutor, teacher’s assistant, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee vice president, team captain, and extra. She participated in numerous local community support and outreach chances and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Chi Alpha campus ministry.
In her a few seasons on the hardwood, the outside hitter racked up 899 kills, 775 digs, 114 blocks, and 1,057 whole factors. As a junior, she was picked as a member of the All-OVC Initial Workforce. In the course of her senior marketing campaign, she led the staff in kills, provider aces, and points whilst putting 2nd in the league in aces.
Verzani represented the ninth member of the Golden Eagle volleyball group to be named Girl of the Year, joining the likes of Bonnie Zoss (1993), Rachel Melchiorre (1998), Diane Seng (2000), Laura Sidorowicz (2005), Anne Morrow (2006), Kappy Lang (2009), Teresa Craig (2010) and Susie Jeziorowski (2019).
After dropping the vast majority of his primary senior marketing campaign in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gavin Johns returned for the 2021 period and earned Man of the 12 months accolades even though providing unheralded leadership both equally for the baseball team and the athletic section as a entire.
A transfer from UCLA in 2019, Johns built his 3 many years in Cookeville rely, specially with his involvement in the neighborhood and on campus. He served as a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership Staff and the Heart of Diversity Training (C.O.D.E.) while participating as a mentor and coach in Putnam County Youth Baseball.
Johns volunteered in quite a few avenues, including organizing a holiday equipment travel donation for young children in require, helping feed the homeless each 7 days through the 2021 time, helping with Samaritans Purse’s cleanup initiatives immediately after the tornado that ravage via Putnam County in 2020, and a number of other chances all over the group.
In the classroom, Johns acquired a 3.8 GPA on his way to earning a bachelor’s diploma in interdisciplinary experiments in December 2019. He followed it up with a perfect 4. mark when buying his master’s in experienced scientific tests with an emphasis in strategic leadership in May possibly 2021. The Temecula, Calif. indigenous was a six-time member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, a two-time member of the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, and a 1-time winner of the OVC Medal of Honor.
In a few seasons on the diamond, he posted a .275 batting typical with 45 runs, 95 hits, 20 doubles, 9 house operates, and 57 RBI. Johns proved to be an unselfish player, willing to plug in anywhere wanted and participating in as a lot of as 6 various positions all through his job.
With the honor, Johns turned the sixth member of the Golden Eagle baseball team to earn Tech’s Guy of the 12 months Award, becoming a member of a team which includes Ben Holt (1993), Mike Kinney (1994), Thomas Nelson (2008), Tristan Archer (2013), and Trevor Putzig (2018).
The Golden Wings Awards, which enters its fifth year, is an conclusion-of-the-calendar year award ceremony for the Tennessee Tech University college student-athletes to honor and rejoice their academic and athletic achievements more than the previous complete seasons.
Because of to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent cancellation of the remainder of campus actions for the 2019-20 tutorial year, the annual awards exhibit was also canceled. The choice was made to nevertheless honor the pupil-athletes for their achievements, having said that, as every single competitive season drawn from to decide the honors had been concluded.
The timeframe of the awards period of time is the current time (2019-20 in this occasion) besides for athletics that contend in the spring, which includes baseball, softball, outside observe & industry, men’s golf, women’s golfing and tennis. With people sporting activities normally competing with a huge part of their seasons nonetheless still left at the time of the awards exhibit, the former campaigns (2018-19 in this occasion) are regarded. The Guy and Girl of the Year awards encompass the 2019-20 period of time for all sports activities.
Prior to the 2019 Golden Wings Awards, men’s golf, women’s golfing and tennis were provided from their present-day period, but owing to scheduling conflicts and to make it possible for a additional total campaign from which to obtain nominees, the a few sporting activities ended up included to the rest of the spring sports activities in using its prior season for thought.
Prior to the initial Golden Wings Awards exhibit, Tennessee Tech Athletics annually offered four awards to deserving college student-athletes, which includes Male Athlete of the Calendar year, Feminine Athlete of the Yr, Person of the Year and Female of the Year. The initially honor founded, for the 1990-91 educational yr, was the Girl of the Calendar year Award, coinciding with the initially NCAA Woman of the 12 months Award. Two a long time later on, in 1992-93, Tech founded its Male of the Yr Award. Both equally the Male Athlete of the Year and Woman Athlete of the Year honors have been extra for the 1993-94 academic year. The four honors have been formally adopted into the Golden Wings Awards, together with standards, for the 2016-17 academic 12 months and all former winners can also be uncovered in the all-time list under.