June 22, 2014
[ONE // the best fans in the land]
The Big Ten led the nation in men’s basketball attendance for the 38th consecutive season according to figures recently released by the NCAA. The Big Ten set a conference record with an average attendance of 13,534 per game, including regular season home games and all six sessions of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. During the 2013-14 campaign, the Big Ten welcomed 2,896,322 patrons, the 22nd straight year the conference eclipsed the two-million mark. In addition, the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament welcomed 111,427 fans over six sessions at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, an average of 18,571 fans per session and the largest total attendance in Indianapolis. Each of the last two tournaments have been sold out, including a conference record of more than 124,000 fans at the United Center in 2013.
[TWO // on track for greatness]
A total of 116 Big Ten student-athletes earned USTFCCCA All-American status following the recent conclusion of the NCAA Outdoor Championships. A complete list of all 116 honorees can be found by clicking here.
[THREE // nebraska in elite company, part one]
Nebraska senior Anne Martin and junior John Welk were recently honored by the NCAA at the Outdoor Championships with the NCAA Elite 89 Award. Both Martin and Welk earned the award for being the female and male athletes competing at the outdoor championships with the highest GPA. The honors marked a complete sweep of the prestigious award for Nebraska among the entire NCAA Championship field. It also the second year in a row the duo has claimed the honor. For the complete release, click here.
[FOUR // nebraska in elite company, part two]
Nebraska has reached an unprecedented milestone in athletic performance this season. The Huskers became one of two NCAA institutions, and the first Big Ten program to qualify for a bowl game, plus NCAA postseason play in each of the following sports in the same calendar year— football, volleyball, and soccer in the fall; men’s basketball and women’s basketball in the winter; and baseball and softball in the spring. Nebraska and Louisville were the only two schools to qualify for postseason play in those seven sports, and Nebraska was the only institution to win at least one game in six of those seven sports. Nebraska is the first and only school to accomplish this rare seven-sport feat among current Big Ten institutions, dating back to 1982, the year the NCAA launched postseason play in women’s basketball and softball.
[FIVE // the sound of an all-american]
Four Big Ten men's golfers have earned PING All-America honors, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced this past Thursday. Big Ten honorees include Illinois' Brian Campbell on the second team and honorable mention selections Charlie Danielson and Thomas Detry of Illinois, and Minnesota's Jose Mendez.
[SIX // more all-america honors for hoosier baseball]
The Hoosier quartet of Dustin DeMuth, Joey DeNato, Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis added to their list of All-America accolades after garnering honors from Perfect Game this past Tuesday. DeMuth was named the first team's third baseman, while Schwarber occupies the DH position on the first team. Travis is the first baseman on the second team, while DeNato is one of four starting pitchers to garner third-team honors. All four have been named All-Americans by other outlets recently, namely Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
[SEVEN // dennis dedicated, determined as director]
Karen Dennis, who recently completed her eighth season as head coach of the Ohio State women's track and field and cross country teams, has been promoted to director of track and field and cross country for both the men's and women's programs, T.J. Shelton, associate athletics director for sport administration, announced this past Tuesday. In her eight seasons at the helm of the Ohio State women's program, Dennis has worked tirelessly on and off the track, developing a winning culture while building one of the Midwest's top all-around programs - including the first Big Ten indoor and outdoor championships in program history. During her tenure, Dennis has led Ohio State to 31 Big Ten individual event titles, 19 first team All-America honors, three Big Ten team championships, two NCAA individual titles, one Big Ten freshman of the year and one academic All-American while garnering six coach of the year honors.
[EIGHT // a national honor for hession]
Ohio State women's golf head coach Therese Hession is the 2014 Golfweek National Coach of the Year, the publication announced this past Tuesday. It marks the second national award of Hession's career, earning the same recognition from the National Golf Coaches Association in 1997. Hession, in her 23rd season at the helm of the Buckeye program, led Ohio State to a share of seventh place at the NCAA Championships (third-highest NCAA finish in school history) with a trio of freshmen in the lineup. Ohio State's 1,158 stroke total for the NCAA Championships is the best 72-hole score ever posted by a Buckeye team. The team's overall season average of 296.64 strokes per round is also an all-time OSU mark. Hession's squad won three spring tournaments, including a co-title at the Big Ten Championships en route to her seventh career B1G Coach of the Year honor. All this from a team ranked outside the top-30 in the Golfweek preseason top-30.
[NINE // ring of honor]
Former Wisconsin wrestling standout Jim Jordan was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for the class of 2014 on Saturday at the 38th-Annual Honors Banquet and Induction ceremony in Stillwater, Okla. Jordan wrestled for the Badgers at 134 lbs. from 1982-1986 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics. During that time, he was a three-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion. Jordan finished his career with a 156-28-1 collegiate record and still holds the record for most career wins in school history. His 49 victories in 1985-86 also set the Wisconsin single-season record. Among his many other accomplishments, Jordan was a two-time Big Ten conference titlist and a 1985 National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star. His career was highlighted by his defeat of eventual six-time World and Olympic champion John Smith of Oklahoma State in the 1985 NCAA finals to win his first of two NCAA crowns.
[TEN // medal of honor campaign comes to a close]
The Big Ten Conference concluded its 100th anniversary celebration of the esteemed Big Ten Medal of Honor by highlighting the 2014 class of honorees on Wednesday. Twenty-four student-athletes from 17 different sports were honored with the prestigious award, which was established in 1915 and was the first award in intercollegiate athletics to demonstrate support for the educational emphasis placed on athletics. The Big Ten Medal of Honor is awarded to one male and one female student-athlete from the graduating class of each member institution who has demonstrated excellence on and off the field throughout their college career. This year's list of distinguished student-athletes includes Academic All-America and All-Big Ten honorees, individual award winners and NCAA and Big Ten team and individual champions. For the full release, click here.
[ELEVEN // warm up the bus for a warm welcome]
This past week the Big Ten warmed up the bus for the digital Big Ten Welcome Tour, a two-week virtual journey across the conference. On July 1 it will be official, and we can't wait to welcome Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten. Over 14 days, we're going West to East to showcase each of our schools, including Maryland and Rutgers. For the Scarlet Knights and Terrapins out there, tell us more about your traditions on the Big Ten Facebook page and @BigTenConf on Twitter as the Big Ten Welcome Tour Bus rolls along.
[TWELVE // a fond farewell]
Finally this week, as we are set to welcome Maryland and Rutgers, we say goodbye to Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner, who announced his retirement this past Tuesday. He requested that his duties as athletic director end August 1, and offered to assist with the transition beyond that date. Joyner was named acting athletic director in November 2011. In January 2013, he was named director of intercollegiate athletics. Rodney Erickson, University president at the time, indicated that Joyner would serve as athletic director through Erickson's term as president. Erickson retired on May 11.