July 13, 2010
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Coastal Carolina volleyball player Jill Nyhof (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Chanticleers' baseball player Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla.) have been voted the 2009-10 Big South Conference Female and Male Scholar-Athletes of the Year, respectively, it was announced today by the League office. The Scholar-Athletes of the Year are voted on by the Big South Sports Information Directors from a pool of each sport's Scholar-Athlete winner.
"I am very proud of the academic success of Jill and Austin, as well as a majority of our student-athletes at Coastal Carolina," said Chanticleer athletics director Hunter Yurachek. "While most people judge us on our wins and losses, our primary mission is to graduate student-athletes. We have established ourselves as a place you can thrive both academically and athletically - not only being champions on the field, but preparing to be Champions for Life."
This marks the 10th time in the 14-year history of the award a Coastal Carolina female student-athlete has won and Nyhof is just the second Big South volleyball player to be honored, joining Coastal's Jeanna Lambert (2000-01).
An ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA second team Academic All-America, Nyhof graduated from Coastal Carolina with a 4.00 grade-point average in political science. The Big South Conference's first volleyball Academic All-America since 2004, Nyhof led the Big South in blocks this past season with 1.25 blocks per game to rank 34th in the nation. She also had a League-high 158 total blocks, including 50 solo, and was a two-time Defensive Player of the Week selection in 2009-10.
Nyhof ended her career as Coastal Carolina's all-time leader in block assists (336) and second in total blocks with 452 - which is tied for seventh in Big South Conference history. Nyhof also ranks sixth in school history with 1,276 career kills, ninth with 2.56 kills per game and is the all-time leader with 501 sets played. She is one of three student-athletes in Conference annals to be voted Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year twice and was a three-time member of the League's Volleyball All-Academic Team during her career (2007, 2008, 2009). Nyhof also won the Coastal Carolina President's Scholar-Athlete Award in 2007, 2008 and 2009, won the 2009 Mortar Board Premier Highest GPA Award, and was voted to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District Team three times in her career, earning first team accolades in both 2008 and 2009.
On the men's side, a Coastal Carolina student-athlete has won the award in three of the last four years and six times overall. Fleet is the first Big South baseball player to be honored since current Minnesota Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey (Winthrop) in 2004-05.
An ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA first team Academic All-America in 2010, Fleet is the first Big South Conference baseball player to earn first team honors since 1995. He went 6-2 with a League-best eight saves and a 2.85 ERA in 31 appearances this past season, helping the Chanticleers to a perfect 25-0 mark in Big South play and a trip to the NCAA Super Regional. He also struck out 57 batters in 60 innings pitched. Fleet graduated from Coastal in the spring of 2009 with a degree in business management, and the 3.78 GPA student is pursuing a second degree in recreation and sports management. A 16th-round draft choice of the San Francisco Giants this past June, Fleet earned the win in the Big South Tournament championship game against Liberty, allowing just two hits in 3.1 innings. Other 2010 season highlights include a win over Michigan on March 14, in which he allowed just three hits and no runs in six innings. He also earned the win at Clemson on March 31 with 4.1 innings of hitless relief. Fleet, who allowed just 11 extra-base hits this past season, had 25 strikeouts in 20.1 innings of work in Big South contests.
In the voting, Nyhof finished with 36 points, ahead of VMI women's soccer player Audrey Falconi (28 points) and Coastal Carolina women's basketball player Amanda Stull (22 points). On the men's side, Fleet finished first in the voting with 39 points, followed by Gardner-Webb football player Mario Brown and GWU's men's cross country runner Jason Wenzel, who both tied for second with 16 points each.
Earlier this spring, Coastal Carolina's Mikaela Terry (women's track and field) was recipient of the Big South's prestigious George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence, graduating with a 4.0 GPA in Spanish.
Nyhof and Fleet were two of three Chanticleers to earn Academic All-America honors as Stull was third team honoree with a 3.947 career GPA in biology. Since 1979, 26 Chanticleers have earned a total of 33 CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Coastal Carolina has produced at least one Academic All-America in each of the last 10 years and having at least three honorees during a season six times over the span.
BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE MALE SCHOLAR-ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
1995-96......... Tomas Malik, Coastal Carolina (tennis)
1996-97......... Tomas Malik, Coastal Carolina (tennis)
1997-98......... Corey Reed, Radford (basketball)
1998-99......... David Steffler, Winthrop (baseball)
1999-00......... Chris Malinky, Coastal Carolina (soccer)
2000-01......... Bruce Kite, Liberty (cross country)
2001-02......... Mike Roach, UNC Asheville (soccer)
2002-03......... Jeremy Plexico, Winthrop (baseball)
2004-05......... Kevin Slowey, Winthrop (baseball)
2005-06......... Patrick Colas, Radford (soccer)
2006-07......... Josh Hoke, Coastal Carolina (football)
2007-08......... Jack Leasure, Coastal Carolina (basketball)
2008-09......... Aaron Linn, Gardner-Webb (basketball)
2009-10......... Austin Fleet, Coastal Carolina (baseball)
BIG SOUTH CONFERNCE FEMALE SCHOLAR-ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
1995-96......... Angela Murphy, Coastal Carolina (cross country)
1996-97......... Angela Murphy, Coastal Carolina (cross country)
1997-98......... Jolene Williams, Coastal Carolina (track & field)
1998-99......... Jolene Williams, Coastal Carolina (track & field)
1999-00......... Jolene Williams, Coastal Carolina (track & field)
2000-01......... Jeanne Lambert, Coastal Carolina (volleyball)
2001-02......... Kara Koppel, Coastal Carolina (track & field)
2002-03......... Kara Koppel, Coastal Carolina (track & field)
2004-05......... Danielle McNaney, Liberty (track & field)
2005-06......... Leslie Cook, High Point (basketball)
2006-07......... Leslie Cook, High Point (basketball)
2007-08......... Felicitas Mensing, Coastal Carolina (track & field)
2008-09......... Megan Frazee, Liberty (basketball)
2009-10......... Jill Nyhof, Coastal Carolina (volleyball)