Big Rapids, Mich. - A pair of Ferris State University senior student-athletes have been named the recipients of the Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award as senior goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) of the men's ice hockey team and senior Tina Muir (St. Albans, United Kingdom) of the women's track/cross country program were tabbed as the 2011-12 award winners.
The prestigious award winners were selected in voting
conducted by the Bulldog head coaches and selected FSU Athletics
Muir was honored as the "Bulldog Of The Year" Award winner for the third consecutive year and joins former volleyball standout Patty Theis (1985-88) as the only three-time recipients of the award in school history.
"It was an outstanding year for Ferris State Athletics and so many student-athletes are worthy of being honored as the Davenport Bulldog of the Year," said FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. "Tina concluded her career as an 11-time All-American and it is evident she's one of the great student-athletes in Bulldog history. Meanwhile, Taylor helped lead our hockey program to unprecedented success and was a first-team All-American. We congratulate Tina and Taylor for their outstanding accomplishments and being chosen as the Bulldogs of the Year."
The Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award, which was reinstated in the 2002-03 season following a seven-year absence, is presented annually to the most outstanding Ferris State male and female student-athlete. Award criteria consists of strong athletic achievements (must be a letterwinner and achieve outstanding athletic accomplishment), strong individual character and academic achievement.
The award was renamed in honor of former Ferris State Athletics
Director Dean Davenport, who served in the position from 1979-93.
During his tenure at Ferris, Davenport was instrumental in the
planning of the FSU Sports Complex, the growth of women's
intercollegiate athletics, the emergence of Ferris' NCAA Division I
men's ice hockey program and the development of the athletics
scholarship program. He also led the athletics department to 14
consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC)
President's Cup Championships. Davenport founded the "Bulldog
of the Year", "Pete Peterson Bulldog Pride" and "Jimmy Swears
Courage" Awards at Ferris State.
Nelson was tabbed as the Bulldogs' 2011-12 team Most Valuable Player Award recipient after helping FSU to the school's first-ever Frozen Four apperance and the program's second Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) regular-season championship.
He concluded the year with a 21-7-3 overall record in net and posted a .924 save percentage along with a 2.10 goals against average. Nelson also claimed 2011-12 CCM Hockey All-America First Team accolades after being tabbed as an All-CCHA First Team honoree.
The senior standout wrapped up the year ranked among the nation's top 20 players in every goaltending statistical category and put together one of the top individual single-season performances by a goaltender in school history. He also claimed MVP honors at the NCAA Midwest Regional as FSU secured the regional crown to advance to the Forzen Four in Tampa, Fla.
For his efforts at the end of the year, Nelson was named the March/April Gongshow Goaltender of the Month in the CCHA after leading the Bulldogs on a historic NCAA Tournament run.
Nelson's 35 career victories in net rank fifth all-time on the school's career leaders list while his career .917 save percentage is number one on FSU's career chart. He's also among the top 10 performers in saves, goals against average, winning percentage, shutouts and games played by a goaltender.
Muir concluded a stellar career as one of FSU's
most decorated student-athletes ever by taking second place in the
5,000 meters on the final day of competition at the 2012 NCAA
Division II Outdoor Championships on May 26 in Pueblo, Colo. Her
runner-up effort enabled her to claim All-America laurels for the
11th time in her collegiate career and the second time in the meet
following a fourth-place national finish in the 10,000 meters.
That performance came on the heels of a third-place showing in the 5,000 meters at this year's NCAA-II Indoor Track and Field Championships where she also earned All-America honors as member of the school's distance medley relay team that placed fourth overall.
Last fall, Muir led the Bulldogs in her last collegiate cross country race by finishing a personal-best seventh overall and sixth in scoring position at the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championships to earn All-America accolades for the fourth-straight season. She is the only four-time All-American in FSU women's cross country history and her performance represented the highest individual finish ever for the Bulldogs, who tied for the best team finish in school history (eighth).
The 2011 GLIAC Cross Country "Athlete of the Year" won the league's individual cross country crown for the second time and twice claimed GLIAC "Runner of the Week" laurels last fall. Her efforts helped FSU to a number three national ranking and league runner-up finish.
Besides her athletic accomplishments, Muir also was chosen to the 2011-12 Capital One Division II Academic All-America First Team for cross country and track. She claimed All-GLIAC and GLIAC All-Academic Team honors four-straight years and was a three-time recipient of the prestigious GLIAC Commissioner's Award for Excellence.
Nelson's selection marks only the third time a Bulldog men's ice
hockey player has been honored as a winner of the Dean Davenport
"Bulldog of the Year" Award and the first since former standout and
current NHL player Chris Kunitz in 2002-03. Muir is among
seven women's track and field/cross country participants to claim
The other student-athlete nominees for the 2011-12 Dean Davenport Bulldog of the Year Award were Chad Billins of the ice hockey team along with Ashley Huntey from the women's volleyball program.
Bulldog of the
2011-12 – Taylor Nelson (Men's Ice Hockey) and Tina Muir (Women's Track & Field/CC)
2010-11 – Justin Keenan (Men's Basketball) and Tina Muir (Women's Track & Field/CC)
2009-10 – Justin Keenan (Men's Basketball), Eric Lilleboe (Men's Golf), and Tina Muir (Women's Track & Field/CC)
2008-09 – Jake Visser (Football), Mikinzie Stuart (Women's Track & Field/Cross Country)
2007-08 – Jake Visser (Football), Rachel Folcik (Women's Basketball), and Becky Hoffman (Women's Golf)
2006-07 – Mike Klobucher (Football), Rachel Folcik (Women's Basketball), and Kristie Smilanich (Women's Soccer)
2005-06 – Dennis Springs (Men's Basketball), Jenny Irwin (Women's Cross Country and Women's Track & Field)
2004-05 – Carlton Epps (Men's Basketball), Karla Fairbanks (Women's Volleyball)
2003-04 – Derek Fudge (Football), Lucy DeMartin (Women's Basketball)
2002-03 – Chris Kunitz (Men's Ice Hockey), Kathryn Bobbie (Women's Golf)
1995-96 – Bill Love (Football), Theresa Luciow (Softball)
1994-95 – Bill Love (Football), Shelli Gaul (Women’s Track & Field)
1993-94 – Ed Philion (Football), Kathy O’Connor (Women’s Volleyball & Women’s Basketball)
1992-93 – Monty Brown (Football), Jodi Raab (Women’s Basketball)
1991-92 – Dan Hutcheson (Wrestling), Monica Ferguson (Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field)
1990-91 – John DePourcq (Men’s Ice Hockey), Karen Volkers (Women’s Volleyball)
1989-90 – Paul Cochran (Men’s Track & Field/Football), Karen Volkers (Women’s Volleyball)
1988-89 – Jarvis Walker (Men’s Basketball), Penny Bailey (Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country)
1987-88 – Dave DenBraber (Football), Patty Theis (Women’s Volleyball)
1986-87 – Brad Morris (Wrestling), Patty Theis (Women's Volleyball) and Karen Kramer (Women’s Basketball)
1985-86 – Scott Kelly (Baseball), Patty Theis (Women’s Volleyball)
1984-85 – Paul Jungck (Wrestling), Sharon Sanders (Women’s Volleyball)
1983-84 – Terry Schumacher (Wrestling), Leigh Feenstra (Women’s Volleyball)
1982-83 – Bruce Faccio (Football), Monta Ware (Women’s Basketball) and Linda Spicer (Women's Volleyball)
1981-82 – Tim Smelser (Wrestling), Vicki Williams (Women’s Basketball)
1980-81 – Rick Baillergeon (Men's Basketball), Terri Fraser (Women’s Volleyball & Women's Basketball)
1979-80 – David Sall (Football), Roxanne Abramouski (Softball)
1978-79 – Tim Herman (Men's Basketball), Sharon Lipinski (Women’s Basketball)