This Week in the Big Ten

Indiana's Tracy Smith was named Wednesday by the NCBWA as the 2013 National Coach of the Year.

June 16, 2013

[ONE // hooray for the hoosiers]
Joey DeNato tossed a complete-game shutout to give Indiana a 2-0 win against Louisville Saturday night on opening day of the College World Series. DeNato allowed only four hits, as the Hoosiers shutout the Cardinals for the second time this season. The Hoosiers' offense generated seven hits, with Michael Basil and Scott Donley each driving in a run.  Indiana, which is making its first-ever trip and is the first Big Ten school to compete at the CWS since 1984, will now face Mississippi State on Monday 8 p.m. ET

[TWO // another indiana mentor nabs national coach of the year honors]
For the first time in Hoosier history, two head coaches have been named National Coach of the Year in their respective sports in the same school year. Baseball coach Tracy Smith was named National Coach of the Year on Saturday, June 15, by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, while head soccer coach Todd Yeagley was named National Coach of the Year in the fall.  The Hoosiers' eighth-year baseball coach guided his squad to an historic season in 2013 as Indiana entered the CWS having reeled off a program-record 48 wins, including a 17-7 mark in Big Ten play, which gave the Hoosiers their first outright conference title since 1932.  Smith, who was named the unanimous Big Ten Coach of the Year prior to the conference tournament, saw nine of his Hoosiers named to the All-Big Ten team, including Pitcher of the Year Aaron Slegers. After the record-breaking regular season, Smith and his IU squad then secured its second NCAA regional berth (2009) during his tenure by winning the Big Ten tournament title at Target Field in Minneapolis.

[THREE // big ten trio earns ncbwa all-america status]
Three Big Ten baseball players have been tabbed as All-America selections by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, it was announced by the NCBWA on Wednesday.  Congratulations to first-team honorees Kyle Scwarber (So., C) of Indiana and Justin Parr (Sr., OF) of Illinois, as well as third-team relief pitcher Trace Dempsey (So.) of Ohio State.

[FOUR // newcomer duo also honored by ncbwa]
In addition, Illinois' Kevin Duchene and Michigan's Jacob Cronenworth were named to the 2013 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman All-America Team, it was announced on Monday. Cronenworth received first-team honors, while Duchene received second-team accolades.

[FIVE // big ten represented on abca/rawlings all-mideast region team]
Sticking with baseball, a dozen conference standouts were named this past week to the ABCA/Rawlings All-Mideast Region team, including seven first-team selections.  On the mound, starter Aaron Slegers of Indiana and closer Trace Dempsey of Ohio State were first-team honorees, as were Illinois’ Thomas Lindauer (SS) and Justin Parr (OF), Indiana’s Kyle Scwarber (C) and Scott Donley (DH), and Michigan’s Michael O’Neill (OF).  Second-team status went to Illinois’ Kevin Duchene (SP), Indiana’s Dustin DeMuth (3B), Michigan State’s Blaise Salter (DH), Northwestern’s Kyle Ruchim (2B), and Ohio State’s Kirby Pellant (SS).

[SIX // two top-10… in the end]
Staying on the diamond, but changing sports, the Michigan and Nebraska softball teams finished among the top eight nationally in the final polls released by the NFCA and USA Softball on Tuesday. The two programs advanced to the Women's College Series, giving the Big Ten two teams in the eight-team field for the first time since 2001. Michigan finished the year ranked sixth in both polls and Nebraska appeared at No. 8, climbing as many as nine spots since the previous set of rankings were released prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin, the 2013 Big Ten Tournament champion, was among the teams also receiving votes in both polls.

[SEVEN // big ten softball rewind] officially closed the book on the softball season this past week by posting the Season in Review.  As mentioned above, Michigan and Nebraska advanced to the 2013 Women’s College World Series, while Minnesota and Wisconsin were also NCAA Tournament participants.  The Wolverines and Huskers took home a number of postseason honors as well.  For a complete recap of the season, click here

[EIGHT // looking back on big ten men’s golf]
Also posted this past week was the men’s golf season in review, which was highlighted by Illinois placing second at the NCAA Championships.  Big Ten Player of the Year Thomas Pieters and freshman Charlie Danielson of Illinois claimed All-America honors, which came after the duo helped the Illini to a fifth-straight B1G Championship.  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Northwestern were all selected for NCAA Regional competition as well.  For a complete recap of the season, click here.

[NINE // not too far off track] also closed the final chapter of the 2013 men’s and women’s outdoor track and field season this past week.  The conference recorded 40 top-eight finishes at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., highlighted by individual titles from Illinois' Ashley Spencer (400) and Indiana's Derek Drouin (high jump). Nebraska's Anne Martin and John Welk were also honored at the NCAA Championships with the NCAA Elite 89 Award as the male and female student-athletes with the highest GPA at the championships.  For a complete breakdown of the 2013 campaign, including coverage of the Nebraska men and Penn State women winning the Big Ten Championship, click here.

[TEN // nothin’ nutty about these coaching careers]
As the Big Ten closed out the track and field season this past week, two conference coaches closed out their careers at their respective schools.  After 30 years, 26 Big Ten championships and countless contributions to his sport, Ed Nuttycombe is retiring from his position as head coach of the Wisconsin men's track and field program. Nuttycombe, 61, announced his retirement this past Friday, following the completion of his 30th season as the Badgers' head coach.  In addition to Nuttycombe, Minnesota announced Tuesday that longtime assistant women’s track and field coach Lynne Anderson has retired. Anderson recently completed her 33rd season as a coach with the Golden Gophers’ track and field programs, having mentored numerous Big Ten Champions and NCAA All-Americans over the years.

[ELEVEN // btn readies for big ten football]
Big Ten schools announced this past Wednesday additional BTN game times for the first three weeks of the 2013 football season. Start times and television plans for the remainder of the season will be announced six to 12 days in advance. BTN will air four contests during the afternoon on August 31, beginning at Noon ET with Illinois taking on Southern Illinois and Wisconsin squaring off against UMass, with Michigan hosting Central Michigan and Iowa facing Northern Illinois at 3:30 p.m. Four games will be broadcast at Noon on September 7, with Iowa facing Missouri State, Penn State taking on Eastern Michigan, Purdue hosting Indiana State and Wisconsin welcoming Tennessee Tech. On September 14, Michigan takes on Akron and Minnesota hosts Western Illinois at Noon and Michigan State welcomes Youngstown State at 2 p.m.

[TWELVE // top of the class]
Finally this week, a tip of the cap to Big Ten football as the conference’s gridiron greats lead the nation in the latest annual Academic Progress Rate report, released Tuesday by the NCAA.  Among the country’s power conferences, the Big Ten scored a 964.9 to place first ahead of the ACC, SEC, Pac-12 and Big 12.  Northwestern (996) led all football programs in the nation, while Wisconsin (985) finished tied for fourth and Ohio State (982) placed tied for seventh.  For a complete look at where each Big Ten school stands, click here.