National Awards

Consistent with its excellent sports tradition, the BYU Cougars have won many prestigious national awards.

Silver Anniversary Award

This award is presented to six distinguished former student-athletes on the 25th Anniversary of their college graduation. The award is based on athletic and academic achievement, professional accomplishments, as well as charitable and civic activities.

Larry Echohawk - 1995
Playing in every football game during his four-year career at BYU, Echohawk was a two-year starting safety. During his junior year in 1968, Echohawk led the Cougars with five interceptions. He named first team All-WAC and All-American. Echohawk was also Academic All-WAC in 1969. Following his football career at BYU, Echohawk went on to earn a law degree and was the first Native American to be elected state Attorney General.

Gifford Nielsen - 2003
Nielsen was a record-setting quarter back for the Cougars, which included setting 13 Western Athletic Conference records during his football career. In 1976, Nielsen led the NCAA Division I football with 29 touchdown passes. He was a three-time all-WAC performer and was named an all-American by several organizations. A two-time member of the WAC's all-academic team and a postgraduate scholarship recipient, Nielsen was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994. Following his time at BYU, Nielsen played five years in the NFL.

Danny Ainge - 2006
During his four-year career as a Cougar, Ainge was a Consensus All-American, a two time first-team Academic All-American, WAC player of the year and a four-time All-WAC selection. During his senior season in 1981 Ainge averaged 24.4 points per game. He also still holds several individual season and career records at BYU. After graduation, Ainge was a second round NBA draft pick and spent 14 seasons playing professionally. Ainge is only one of three retired NBA players to make 1,000 three-point shots.

Heisman Memorial Trophy

The Heisman Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's outstanding college football player.

Ty Detmer - 1991
Detmer was a two-time Consensus All-American in 1990 and 1991. He passed 5,188 yards and 41 touchdowns during his Heisman season. Detmer finished his career passing 15,031 yards and a career passing efficiency of 162.7. Detmer was the first player in the Rockies to win the Heisman Troph and he has seen more action in a Cougar uniform than any other player. Detmer still holds the school record for most plays (1,795), most pass attempts (1,530), and most pass completions (958) in his career.

Davey O'Brien Trophy

The Davey O'Brien Trophy honors the nation's most outstanding collegiate quarterback.

Jim McMahon - 1981
Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998, McMahon set 70 NCAA records and broke 23 school records during his BYU career. As a Cougar he passed for 9,536 yards, threw 84 touchdowns and completed 653 of 1,056 passes. McMahon was named Most Valuable Player of the 1980 and 1981 Holiday Bowls. After his college career he went on to play for several NFL teams and became a two-time Super Bowl Champion (1985 Chicago Bears and 1997 Green Bay Packers).

Steve Young - 1983
One of the greatest collegiate quarterbacks of all-time, Steve Young was consistently at the top of all the nation's statistical categories. Young was a Consensus All-American in 1983 and later went on to be named the NFL Most Valuable Player twice. As a Cougar, Young led the nation his senior year with .713 completion percentage, 3,902 yards passing and 33 touchdowns. In August 2005, Young became the first BYU Cougar to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ty Detmer - 1990 and 1991
See Heisman Memorial Trophy.

Sammy Baugh Trophy

The Sammy Baugh is awarded annually to the nation's top collegiate quarterback by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio.

Gary Sheide - 1974
Finishing eighth in Heisman Trophy balloting in 1974, Sheide was second in the NCAA for passing in 1973 and 1974. He was the WAC offensive player of the year in 1974.

Marc Wilson - 1981
Wilson earned consensus All-America honors in 1979 and was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996. In his career, Wilson set ten NCAA records and finished third in the Heisman balloting in 1979. A first round NFL draft pick and is a two-time Super Bowl Champion (1980 Oakland Raiders and 1983 Los Angeles Raiders).

Jim McMahon - 1981
See Davey O'Brien Trophy.

Steve Young - 1983
See Davey O'Brien Trophy.

Robbie Bosco - 1984
After leading the BYU Cougars to a national championship, Bosco captured the Sammy Baugh in 1984. He was also named All-American after leading the nation in passing and setting 10 NCAA records.

Ty Detmer - 1991
See Heisman Memorial Trophy.

Steve Sarkisian - 1996
As a senior in 1996, Sarkisian helped lead the BYU Cougars to a Western Athletic Conference title and Cotton Bowl Victory. Sarkisian completed 549-of-824 passes (66.6 percent) for 7,755 yards and 55 touchdowns in his career.

Outland Trophy

The Outland Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's outstanding interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America.

Jason Buck - 1986
Buck led the 1986 Cougars completing 59 tackles and 12.5 sacks during the season and was a Consensus All-American the same year he won the Outland Trophy.

Mohammed Elewonibi - 1989
Elewonibi graded out four times with perfect pass protection during the 1989 season and was also a Consensus All-American that same year.

Doak Walker Award

The Doak Walker Award is given annually to the nation's top college running back.

Luke Staley - 2001
Staley was a Consensus All-American as a senior. The year he was presented this award, Staley led the nation in scoring (15.5 p/game), yards per carry (8.1 y/carry) and finished the 2001 season ranked third in the nation in rushing, averaging 143.8 yards per game. Staley also racked up two BYU single-season records with 28 touchdowns and 1,582 yards rushing on the season.

The Fred Haskins Award

The Fred Haskins Award is presented to the nation's top golfer and is voted on each year by coaches, players and members of the media.

Bobby Clampett - 1979 and 1980
Clampett was a three-time All-American at BYU. In 1978 he was named U.S. Amateur Golfer of the Year and won the World Amateur Medal. He won the Haskins Award as a sophomore and junior, and was also the runner-up for the individual medalist at the 1979 NCAA tournament. Following his junior season in 1980, Clampett turned professional. He has played in 385 Tour events with 33 top-10 finishes.

John R. Wooden Award

The Wooden Award is presented annually to the nation's premiere college basketball player by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The award recognizes accomplishments on the court and in the classroom.

Danny Ainge - 1981
See Silver Anniversary Award.

Jimmer Fredette - 2011
Fredette concluded his four-year BYU career as the program's all-time leader in scoring and three-pointers. As a senior, Fredette enjoyed one of the greatest individual seasons in Cougar history as he was named the consensus National Player of the Year and a consensus All-American. He led the nation in scoring at 28.9 points per game while leading BYU to a 32-5 record and a trip to the Sweet 16. Fredette earned the Wooden, Naismith, Oscar Robertson, Associated Press, NABC and Basketball Times National Player of the Year awards. Following his senior season, Fredette was selected 10th in the 2011 NCAA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and was then traded to the Sacramento Kings.

Naismith Trophy

Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, founder of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is awarded annually to the women's and men's college basketball players of the year. The award is based on player performance.

Jimmer Fredette - 2011
See John R. Wooden Award.

Eastman Trophy

The Eastman Award, presented by the National Association of Basketball Coaches is awarded to the nations outstanding college basketball player of the year.

Danny Ainge - 1981
See Silver Anniversary Award.

Nissen Award

The Nissen is presented annually to the nation's top senior gymnast. Nominations for the award are accepted from college coaches and judges with the winner voted on by the coaches, judges and student-athletes.

Darren Elg - 1996
Elg was a six-time All-American for BYU once on the parallel bars and floor exercise, and twice for the high bar and all-around. Elg competed in two NCAA Championships, including a 1995 appearance where he earned second-place in the all-around competition and third place on the high bar and floor exercise. He was also MPSF Athlete of the Year in 1993 and 1996.

USTFCCCA Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year

Presented annually to the top athlete in NCAA Indoor Track and Field.

Miles Batty
An All-American in both cross country and track, Batty won the national championship in the mile and anchored the national championship distance medley relay team while running three sub-four-minute miles in two days. Batty also picked up the MWC titles in both the mile and 1500 meters. Earlier in the season he broke a 31-year-old BYU mile record with a 3:55.79.

Woody Hayes National Scholar Athlete Award

The Woody Hayes Award is given annually to six nationally selected outstanding scholar-athletes. Athletes much demonstrate leadership in their respective sports, exhibit excellence in an academic field, display leadership in a socially responsible organization and exemplify strong moral character.

Chuck Cutler - 1989
Football wide receiver was a two time GTE Academic All-American and was Academic All-WAC. Culter ended his football career first team All-WAC and is a NCAA Post-Graduate Scholar.

Nils V. "Swede" Nelson National Sportsmanship Trophy

The Nils Nelson presented by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, recognizes outstanding achievement in academics, athletics, sportsmanship and citizenship.

Thomas Bell - 1979
Bell was only the fourth athlete from west of the Mississippi ever to receive this national award. As a team captain, Bell helped BYU to an undefeated regular season in 1979 and national rankings as high as ninth and finishing ranked at 12th in the country after leading the nation in passing, scoring, and total offense. Bell also played in BYU's first bowl game, the 1974 Fiesta Bowl.

CoSida National Academic All-America Athlete of the Year

Present annually to the nation's top Academic All-American.

Michael Smith - 1988
Smith, men's basketball forward, set BYU career records in rebounds (922), games played (122), free-throw percentage (.878), three-point percentage (.430), three-point field goals made (116), and three-point field goals attempted (270). Smith scored 2,319 career points as a Cougar, second only to Danny Ainge in BYU history. Smith played three years in the NBA and five years in Europe. The NCAA post-graduate scholar won three Academic All-America awards and was named First Team All-WAC three times.

Miles Batty - 2011
See NCAA Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

NCAA National Coach of the Year

LaVell Edwards - 1984

One of the most well known coaches at BYU, Edwards concluded his 29-year head coaching career as the sixth winningest coach in NCAA Division I history. When Edward was hired in 1972, he inherited a program with no football tradition and transformed it into a national powerhouse. The success Edwards brought is the reason BYU expanded its football stadium to seat 65,000. He unleashed an unconventional offense that involved throwing the football, an offense that others soon followed. In fact while he was head coach, the Cougars led the nation in passing eight times and finished in the top five 17 times. When Edwards was selected as the NCAA National Coach of the Year, he was invited to visit President Ronald Reagan in the White House.

Patrick Shane - 1997, 2000 and 2001
Shane turned the cross country team at BYU into a team of dominance. Between 1997 and 2004 his teams won four national titles in cross country and finished second the other three years. He has coached six Olympic runners and 43 All-Americans.

Carl McGown - 1999 and 2001
McGown started the NCAA men's volleyball program at BYU. Before long he established the Cougars as a national contender and led BYU to its first NCAA Championship in 1999. The Cougars added another title under the helm of McGown in 2001. In 13 seasons, McGown compiled a 205-131 record (.610).

Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year

Presented annually to the nation's top coach in NCAA college football.

LaVell Edwards - 1979
See NCAA National Coach of the Year.

USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award

Presented to volleyball coaches who have achieved greatness in their career's and have made an impact on the sport of volleyball.

Carl McGown - 2000
McGown coached the BYU men's volleyball team for 13 seasons between 1989 and 2002, where he led the team to two NCAA Championship titles (1999 and 2001), twice earned National Coach of the Year honors and compiled a 225-137 record. He paced the Cougars to nine top-10 finishes in 13 seasons and coaches 18 different All-Americans. In addition to coaching at BYU, McGown served as the head coach of the USA men's team (1973-76), a technical advisor to the National Team (1980) and has coached in seven different Olympic games. McGown was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2010 and into the BYU Hall of Fame in 2011. He currently serves as a volunteer assistant coach to the BYU men's volleyball team. 

Elaine Michaelis - 2001
Michaelis retired from collegiate coaching as the all-time leader in victories among female coaches in collegiate volleyball with 887 victories. She had a cumulative record of 887-225-5 (.796) and never suffered a losing season. Her retiring season, the Cougars finished 20-9, completing her 12th straight NCAA tournament appearance.

 

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