SAAC Presents Student-Athlete Excellence Awards
June 13, 2012
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina University Department of Athletics has recognized its top performers at the annual Student-Athlete Excellence Awards, hosted by the members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
Marcus Lott (football) was named the Presidential Student-Athlete of the Year, presented each year to the singular Coastal Carolina University student-athlete who displays extraordinary achievements in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.
Lott graduated with a 3.91 GPA with a major in middle grades education and earned numerous academic honors, including CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America Division I football second team, the Capital One Academic All-Region 4 first team and the 2011 Big South Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Despite missing two games in his final season, Lott ranked fifth on the team in tackles (41). He added four pass breakups and 4.0 TFL for the season. Lott played in 44 career games, getting 35 starts. He ranks fourth on the CCU all-time list for pass breakups (17), eighth in interceptions (5), sixth in unassisted tackles (112) and ninth in total tackles (184).
Awards were presented to Jessie Benchley (women's soccer) as the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and to Tucker Frawley (baseball) as the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, based on their cumulative GPAs.
Benchley graduated with a 3.86 GPA with a major in exercise and sports science. She is a three-time member of the Big South Conference Presidential Honor Roll and was named to the All-Big South Academic team. She started 11 of 13 games in 2011 and helped record back-to-back shutouts in Coastal's two wins. She finished the season with seven shot attempts from her defensive midfield position, three of which fell on frame. Led by Benchley, the women's soccer team was one of 568 teams to earn the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Academic Award for the 2010-11 academic year. To qualify for the award, teams must post a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the year. Coastal Carolina has won the award 11 consecutive times and is the only Big South Conference member to earn the award in 2011.
Frawley graduated with a 3.94 GPA with a major in physics. In 2012 he was named to the first team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America and was the Big South Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He was named first team All-Big South and was one of 12 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award, which annually goes to the nation's top catcher. In 2012, Frawley batted a career-high .296 and caught 503 of the team's 560 innings or 89.9 percent. He reached base safely in 52 of 60 games to earn an impressive .411 on-base percentage and handled a pitching staff that led the NCAA in ERA most of the season. He threw out an impressive 49 percent (25-of-51) of opponents, scored 25 runs, hit eight doubles and one home run, drove in 27, walked 33 times and committed only four errors in 431 chances. For his career, he batted .275 with a .378 on-base percentage with only nine errors in 854 chances. He has been selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the eighth round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Sarah Maples was named the Female Athlete of the Year and Ashton Bennett (soccer) was named the Male Athlete of the Year for their significant contributions to their teams and to Chanticleer Athletics.
Maples is expected to graduate with honors in August 2012 with a major in recreation and sport management. She has played a key role for the Chanticleers defensively, splitting time between second base and the outfield. She recorded only one error in 2012 and has a team-leading 13 stolen bases. She started every game (244) for the Chanticleers in her four years at Coastal. She was named to the Big South All-Academic Team in 2011 and 2012 and she has been on the Big South Presidential Honor Roll three times and has made the Dean's List at Coastal four times.
Bennett earned first team All-American honors and was named to the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I All-South Atlantic Team, both by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). As a junior in 2011, he tallied an NCAA-leading 23 goals, including nine game-winners and finished the season ranked first in three offensive categories including total goals (23), total points (53.0) and points per game (2.41) as well as second in goals per game (1.05). Nationally, Bennett also ranked 47th with seven assists on the year and 99th in assists per game (.32). He was named the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Player of the Week and was named to its National Team of the Week on three occasions, and was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week twice. He was also named the Big South Attacking Player of the Year.
The Linda C. Vereen Academic Excellence Award was awarded to the women's golf team for earning a team-combined GPA of 3.577, the highest among the university's 17 intercollegiate men's and women's sports teams for the 2010-11 academic year. The women's golf team also won this award in 2004, 2005 and 2010. Katie Quinney has been the head women's golf coach since 2009.
The softball team was awarded the Comeback Team of the Year. The team ended the 2012 season with a 44-19 record, which ties the softball all-time mark for wins in a single season. Additionally, the Chanticleers won the program's first Big South title since the 2006 season, made its first NCAA Regional since 2006 and won its first NCAA Regional game since 2000. Kelley Green has been the head softball coach since 2009.
Wesley Fondren, assistant professor of communication in the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, was named the Student-Athlete Faculty Member of the Year. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee awards the Student-Athlete Faculty Member of the Year for his or her academic, athletic and personal support toward the success of student-athletes.
In addition, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee presented the Department of Athletics Staff Member of the Year award to Samantha Kost, then-academic advisor in Student-Athlete Academic Support Services. Kost has recently been promoted to associate athletic director for academic support services, effective June 15.