Big Ten Network to Present Awards to Conference's Top Performers

June 18, 2008

CHICAGO – The Big Ten Network will honor the conference’s top plays, games, performers and performances of 2007-08 during the Big Ten Awards Show. The hour-long program, hosted by Dave Revsine, Mike Hall and Rick Pizzo, debuts at 10 PM ET Friday. Fans can cast their ballots online at for the Play of the Year, the Big Ten Male Athletic Coach of the Year and the Big Ten Female Athletic Coach of the Year.

The winners of the conference’s highest awards, the Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year and the Suzy Favor Female Athlete of the Year, will also be revealed. Member institutions nominated one candidate for each award. A panel of conference media selected previous winners such as Steve Alford, Desmond Howard, Eddie George and current Big Ten Network broadcaster Stephanie White.  

“It has been an unforgettable year of competition in the Big Ten and the Big Ten Awards Show celebrates the very best from the past season,” said Leon Schweir, Big Ten Network Executive Producer and Vice President, Production. 

The network will also present an additional series of awards to the most deserving individuals and teams. The categories include Breakout Performer of the Year, Most Dominating Individual Performance, Most Courageous Performance, Best Finish, Best Game, Women’s Athletic Team of the Year and Men’s Athletic Team of the Year. 

In the Breakout Performer of the Year category, the nominees include Rashard Mendenhall (Illinois football), Dustin Fox (Northwestern wrestling), Danielle Spencer (Northwestern lacrosse), Lauren Delaney (Northwestern softball), Eric Gordon (Indiana basketball), and Jantel Lavender (Ohio State basketball). 

In the Most Dominating Performance category, the nominees are C.J. Bacher (Northwestern football) for his 520-yard, five-touchdown effort against Michigan State; Diane Nukuri (Iowa cross country) for shattering the Big Ten women’s cross country meet record by 45 seconds; Megan Hodge (Penn State volleyball) for her 26-kill performance in the win against Stanford in the NCAA Tournament final; Marscilla Packer (Ohio State women’s basketball) for her 32-point eruption against Wisconsin; Kevin Coble (Northwestern basketball) for his 37-point game against Indiana; Lauren Delaney (Northwestern softball pitcher) for her scoreless streak of 17 innings during the Big Ten Tournament; and Dan Black (Purdue baseball) for his three-homer, five-RBI performance against Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament. 

The nominees for the Most Courageous Performance are Chad Henne (Michigan football) who threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns despite an arm injury in a win against Illinois; D.J. White (Indiana men’s basketball) for his 19-point, 15-rebuond effort against Purdue just days after spraining his knee; Heather Dorniden (Minnesota track and field) who fell down during a heat at the Big Ten Championships, but got up and won the race; Meredith Frank (Northwestern lacrosse) for tallying two goals and three assists just four games after suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon; and Johanna Solverson (Iowa women’s basketball) for playing in the NCAA Tournament just two weeks after a severe knee injury in the Big Ten Tournament. 

In the Best Finish category, the nominees are Brian Butch (Wisconsin men’s basketball) for his buzzer-beating three-pointer to defeat Indiana in Bloomington; Blake Hoffarber (Minnesota men’s basketball) for his miracle turnaround shot in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal against Indiana; Lakisha Freeman (Purdue women’s basketball) for her game-winning shot to defeat Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament Final; Austin Starr (Indiana football) for his game-winning field goal to beat Purdue, 27-24; Appalachian State for blocking a last-second field goal attempt to preserve a shocking 34-32 victory against Michigan; Samantha Findlay (Michigan softball) for her walk-off base hit against Northwestern; Tyler Cox (Indiana baseball) for his walk-off grand slam to beat Penn State in the Big Ten Baseball Tournament; Michael Flowers (Wisconsin men’s basketball) for his last-second three-pointer and steal to earn a one-point road win at Texas; and Northwestern football’s rally from a 21-point deficit to beat Minnesota, 49-48, in double overtime. 

The nominees for Game of the Year are Appalachian State’s upset in the Big House; Penn State’s controversial five-game volleyball victory in Madison; Illinois’ stunning win against Ohio State at Ohio Stadium; the Buckeyes’ men’s soccer team defeating Indiana in penalty kicks to win the Big Ten Tournament; Indiana’s clinching a bowl bid with a game-winning field goal against Purdue; Penn State women’s basketball defeat of Duke on a last-second shot; Indiana men’s basketball beating Illinois in double-overtime in Champaign; Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s last-second shot to escape Bloomington with a win; Purdue beating the buzzer in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament final; and Minnesota defeating Indiana in a wild finish in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal round. 

In the category of Play of the Year, the nominees are Adrian Arrington (Michigan football) for his one-handed catch vs. Florida; Mike Hart (Michigan football) for his spinning touchdown run against Purdue; Javon Ringer (Michigan State football) for his criss-crossing 72-yard run; Blake Hoffarber (Minnesota men’s basketball) for his game-winning bucket in the Big Ten Tournament against Indiana; goalie Stefan Schroder (Ohio State lacrosse) going the length of the field to score a goal in the NCAA Tournament; Alison Jackson (Ohio State women’s basketball) hitting a buzzer-beater before the half in the Big Ten Tournament; Robbie Hummel (Purdue men’s basketball) for his save and three-pointer against Michigan State. 

In the Women’s Athletic Team of the Year, each Big Ten regular season and tournament champion is on the ballot including Minnesota cross country, Michigan field hockey, Iowa field hockey, Penn State soccer, Purdue soccer, Minnesota swimming and diving, Minnesota indoor track and field, Ohio State basketball, Iowa basketball, Purdue basketball, Michigan gymnastics, Northwestern tennis, Purdue golf, Michigan State rowing, Michigan softball, Northwestern softball and Penn State outdoor track and field. 

In the Men’s Athletic Team of the Year, each Big Ten regular season and tournament champion is on the ballot including Wisconsin cross country, Ohio State men’s soccer, Michigan swimming and diving, Wisconsin indoor track and field, Iowa wrestling, Wisconsin men’s basketball, Penn State men’s gymnastics, Ohio State men’s tennis, Michigan State men’s golf, Michigan outdoor track and field, Michigan ice hockey and Penn State men’s volleyball. 

The Big Ten Coach of the Year in each sport has been nominated for the Big Ten Male Athletic Coach of the Year and the Big Ten Female Athletic Coach of the Year awards.