April 22, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Crimson Tide Athletics Department's annual Alabama Student-Athlete Awards Banquet, presented by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, was held Monday evening in Foster Auditorium.
Senior gymnast Ashley Priess, the SAAC president, opened the program by welcoming the gathered student-athletes and introducing UA Director of Athletics Bill Battle who addressed the student-athletes. The late Mal Moore, an Alabama student-athlete, coach and administrator for more than 50 years, was honored with a video tribute.
Senior gymnast Ashley Priess and senior football offensive lineman Barrett Joneswere named the winners of the Paul W. Bryant Award given annually to the top male and female student-athlete. The Paul W. Bryant Student-Athlete Award was created by the Tuscaloosa County Chapter of the University of Alabama Alumni Association in 1985.
A 10-time All-American and three-year Scholastic All-American, Priess was a member of the Tide's 2011 and 2012 NCAA Championship team. A fifth-year senior, Alabama won two national championships, finished second once and third twice at the NCAA Championships during her career.
Jones earned the award for the second year in a row, after leading Alabama to its third BCS National Championship in the last four years. The 2013 SEC McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Jones earned both and undergraduate and master's degree in accounting during his All-American career.
The other finalists for the Bryant Student-Athlete Award were also recognized during the banquet. On the women's side that included Molly Atherton (soccer), Kayla Braud (softball), Tabitha Coleman (rowing), Emily Facchine (swimming and diving), Kayla Fitterer (volleyball), Antonia Foehse (tennis), Nikki Hegstetter (basketball), Stephanie Meadow (golf) and Alexis Paine(track and field).
On the men's side, the finalists were Jarryd Botha (tennis), Austin Duckworth (track and field/cross country), Levi Randolph (basketball), Kenny Roberts (baseball), Reese Shirey(swimming and diving) and Corey Whitsett (golf).
The newly crowned Southeastern Conference women's golf and men's golf squads were honored as the teams with the highest grade point averages. Women's golf earned the honor while posting a 3.85 team GPA, and men's golf team earned the distinction with a 3.42.
The Athletics Department's community outreach efforts were also recognized during the event. Crimson Tide student-athletes gave more than 2,500 hours toward community services this year. The rowing team was the women's squad with the most community outreach hours while football earned the honor for the men. Individually, swimmer Brian Carr and rowing's Emily Chadwellwere recognized for their outstanding service to the community.
Chuck Karr, the Dean of Alabama's College of Engineering, was honored with the Finest Faculty Award for his dedication to student-athlete achievement.
The Newcomer of the Year, which covers the 2012 season (spring and fall), went to men's golfer Justin Thomas while baseball's Tucker Hawleyearned the Comeback Athlete of the Year award. Facchine was the winner of the Spirit of the Game Award, which honors the individual whose dedication and love for their sport is unmatched.
Incoming president Ryan Iamurri presented Priess, a five-year member of SAAC, with a memento commemorating the gymnast's tenure as the organizations leader.