ncaa-d1 flag | August 29, 2014

Michigan’s John Beilein awarded Bob Frederick Sportsmanship Award

The NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct has selected University of Michigan men’s basketball head coach John Beilein to receive the 2013-14 Bob Frederick Sportsmanship Award. This honor recognizes his demonstrated history of sportsmanship while leading the Wolverines.

The committee also selected these student-athletes to receive 2013-14 NCAA Student-Athlete Sportsmanship awards: Utah State University’s Chari Hawkins, who competes in track and field; Northern Michigan University’s Jaylee Brown, who competes in cross country; and the Division II Harding football team.

Sportsmanship is one of the founding principles of the NCAA. These awards honor the efforts of student-athletes and administrators who work to protect the integrity of sports and create an even and welcoming playing field for all student-athletes and fans.

John Beilein, Bob Frederick Award

In nominating Beilein for the award, Michigan Associate Athletics Director Brian Townsend noted Beilein’s work as chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Ethics Coalition.

The Frederick Award, first presented in 2009 to honor the late Kansas and Illinois State athletics director, is awarded annually to an NCAA member institution coach or administrator who exhibits a lifelong commitment to sportsmanship and ethical conduct, leading by example and promoting positive fan involvement in and out of competition.

“I am certain there were many other coaches who deserved this award, however, I am truly honored to have been chosen for the Bob Frederick Sportsmanship Award," Beilein said. “I want to thank Fred Smith and the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct for selecting me. I will continue to do all I can to live up to the high standards of sportsmanship and integrity that Bob Frederick represented so well during his time in college athletics.”

Through Beilein’s work with the coalition, he was an integral part of maintaining and improving all aspects of the game of men’s college basketball by emphasizing sportsmanship.

Townsend also touted Beilein’s efforts to reshape the culture of the Michigan men’s basketball program both on and off the court.

Beilein led Michigan to the 2013 Men’s Final Four that ended with the Wolverines being the national runners-up to Louisville. It marked the first time Michigan had reached the Men’s Final Four in 20 years. As a testament to his character, Townsend noted how Beilein’s peers, former players, administrators and college basketball fans rooted for him to win the national title because of “the integrity and class” Beilein has displayed throughout this coaching career.

Beilein has been a college basketball head coach for 36 seasons, compiling a record of 701-412. He is 150-94 in seven seasons at Michigan.

Beilein also devotes time to the St. Louis Center, which is a facility that administers to the emotional and spiritual needs of adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Motts Children’s Hospital and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Inc.

“John is a wonderful choice for the NCAA’s Bob Frederick Sportsmanship Award,” said Michigan Director of Athletics Dave Brandon. “He represents the University of Michigan and the college coaching fraternity with great honor, and meets all of the established qualifications for this prestigious award.”

Chari Hawkins, Utah State, Sportsmanship Award

During the 800-meter run in the heptathlon at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on June 13, Hawkins slowed down to help Georgia’s Kendall Williams, who had fallen while running the event.

Hawkins offered encouragement, and Williams recovered to finish the race. Williams eventually earned the national title in the heptathlon.

Despite slowing down, Hawkins posted a personal best 2:24.13 in the 800 and finished ninth overall in the heptathlon to earn second-team All-America honors. However, if Hawkins had not slowed down, she might have finished with a lower 800-meter time, which could have placed her in the top eight in the overall standings and earned her first-team All-America status.

Jaylee Brown, Northern Michigan, Sportsmanship Award

While running in the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by Minnesota last Sept. 28, Brown reached the top of the final hill of the cross country race when she noticed a runner sitting on the course.

It was Lillie Koerner of Dordt College, who had fallen and appeared dazed. Many runners ran past Koerner on their way to the finish, but Brown stopped.

“It looked like she was in a lot of pain,” Brown said. “I kept looking at her and looking at the finish. As I got closer, (Koerner) looked like she was reaching out.”

Brown put Koerner’s arm around her shoulder and told her they would finish the race together. After they crossed the finish line, Brown escorted Koerner to the athletic training tent, where she could receive medical treatment.

 “It was the right thing to do,” Brown said. “For her to come all that way and not be able to finish really would have broken my heart because I know how hard it is.”

“I felt like it was my job to help her,” Brown added. “I would hate for that to happen to me. I know I would want someone to help me.”

Harding football team, Sportsmanship Award

Harding hosted its Homecoming game against Great American Conference arch rival Henderson State on Oct. 26.

During the game, Henderson State receiver Robert Jordan came down awkwardly while catching his third touchdown pass of the game. Jordan broke his leg in two places, and the Harding team joined Henderson State players to form a semicircle around him.

All of the players prayed for the health and safety of Jordan until he was loaded onto an ambulance for a trip to a local hospital.

The concern showed by the Harding football team earned them the recognition for the sportsmanship award.

Following the game, a large number of Harding players joined Henderson State players to visit Jordan in the hospital.

A couple of days later, a group of 75 Harding students met in the parking lot of the hospital and formed “Get Well #1” with their bodies, using Jordan’s jersey number to send a hopeful message.

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