Men's Basketball
Pepper Gay, D.J. Richardson Named Newcomers of the Year

 
Pepper Gay posted a 16-1 record during her rookie season
Pepper Gay posted a 16-1 record during her rookie season
 

June 16, 2010

Champaign, Ill. - A pair of NCAA champions have been named the 2009-10 Dike Eddelman Award winners given to the top male and female athletes at the University of Illinois during the school year. The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics named NCAA golf champion Scott Langley and NCAA cross country and indoor 3,000 meter champion Angela Bizzarri as the Eddleman winners from this year. The DIA also named D.J. Richardson from basketball and softball's Pepper Gay as the Newcomers of the Year.

Bizzarri becomes a three-time recipient of the award, joining sprinter and hurdler Perdita Felicien, who claimed the honor from 2001-2003, with that distinction. In fact track & field has had a stranglehold on the award of late, claiming the award nine of the last 10 years and 14 times since 1992. Langley, meanwhile, becomes the first men's golfer to claim the honor in the 70 years of the award. Current Illinois women's coach Renee (Heiken) Slone was the only golfer male or female to garner the accolade, having won it in 1991 and 1992.

Langley became the first Illini ever to win the NCAA golf championship. He fired a 10-under par 206 for 54 holes to win the championship by two strokes at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn. He was named a First Team All-American and earned the Arnold Palmer Award presented by Callaway to the NCAA golf champion. Langley was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Year after posting eight top-10 finishes in 14 tournaments. He set the University of Illinois single-season stroke average with a 71.37 mark this season and is on pace to break Steve Stricker's career scoring record by an Illini. Langley has been named to the United States Palmer Cup team and will begin play Thursday at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Bizzarri won the NCAA cross country title in November at Terre Haute, Ind., with a school-record 6K time of 19:46.8 and was named the Cross Country Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). In track, she captured her third national title in the 3,000 meters where she edged Iowa State's Lisa Koll down the stretch. In track, Bizzarri, who was named the Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, won four conference titles this year, taking home the 3,000 and 5,000 meters indoors and the 1,500 and 5,000 meters outdoors. Bizzarri is a nine-time All-American and owns seven school records in total. She tied the mark in the mile and reset her own record in the 3,000m and 5,000m during the 2010 indoor season and was part of the school-record distance medley relay in 2008. She also boasts the top spot in the outdoor 1,500m and 5,000m and set the 6K cross country record during the 2009 season.

D.J. Richardson was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the conference coaches


Richardson was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the league's coaches and to the Big Ten All-Freshman team. His 35 starts were the most by a freshman in school history, and he scored in double figures in 22 of those games. The second-leading freshman scorer in the Big Ten, Richardson averaged 10.5 points per game, while making 69 three-pointers (second most a freshman in UI history). He also averaged 2.1 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game.

Gay was one of the anchors of the Illinois pitching staff, posting a 16-1 record and a 1.46 ERA with 113 strikeouts. She ranked third in the Big Ten in ERA while opposing batters hit just .217 against her. Gay recorded three of Illinois' five victories while posting a 1.11 ERA en route to helping the Illini to the NFCA Leadoff Classic title in late February and was a big reason the Illini won 16 of their last 17 regular season games. Illinois posted a 45-8 record, placed second in the Big Ten and advanced to its second straight NCAA Tournament.

The University of Illinois Athlete of the Year was first awarded in 1940. The award was given annually until it was discontinued in 1973. Since 1982, the University of Illinois has recognized both a Male and Female Athlete of the Year. In 1993, the awards were named in honor of the 11-time UI letterman and former Olympian, Dwight "Dike" Eddleman. The Newcomer and Spirit Awards have been presented each year since 1990.

The other major awards were named on May 3 at the Scholar-Athlete reception. Bizzarri and football's Jon Asamoah earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor. Juice Williams from football and Luke Stannard from gymnastics shared the Male Spirit Award with tennis' Megan Fudge earning the Female Spirit Award.

All-Time Illinois Athletes of the Year

1940	William J. Hapac, basketball & baseball
1941 	John Drish, basketball & baseball
1942	Andy Phillip, basketball & baseball
1943	Andy Phillip, basketball & baseball
1944	Buddy Young, football & track
1945	Walton "Junior" Kirk, basketball
1946	Herbert McKenley, track
1947	Alex Agase, football & wrestling
1948	Dwight "Dike" Eddleman, football, basketball & track
1949	Dwight "Dike" Eddleman, football, basketball & track
1950	Russell Steger, football & baseball
1951	Don Sunderlage, basketball
1952	Charles Boerio, football
1953	Clive Follmer, basketball & baseball
1954	J.C. Caroline, football
1955	Paul Judson, basketball
1956	Em Lindbeck, football & baseball
1957	Abe Woodson, football & track
1958	Bob Mitchell, football & track
1959	Abe Grossfeld, gymnastics
1960	Bill Burrell, football
1961	Bill Brown, football & track
1962	Doug Mills, football, basketball & baseball
1963	Harold Holmes, gymnastics
1964	Dick Butkus, football
1965	Dick Butkus, football
1966	Jim Grabowski, football
1967	Jim Dawson, basketball
1968	Dave Scholz, basketball
1969	Dave Scholz, basketball
1970	Mike Price, basketball
1971	Lee LaBadie, track/cross country
1972	Rick Gross, track/cross country
1973-81 Award not given
1982	Tony Eason, football
1983	Tony Eason, football
        Marianne Dickerson, track/cross country
1984    Don Thorp, football
        Karen Brems, gymnastics
1985	Charles Lake, gymnastics
        Kelly McNee, track/cross country
1986	David Williams, football
        Jonelle Polk, basketball
1987	Darrin Fletcher, baseball
        Mary Eggers, volleyball
1988	Tim Simon, track
        Mary Eggers, volleyball
1989	David Zeddies, gymnastics
        Mary Eggers, volleyball
1990	Kendall Gill, basketball
        Laura Bush, volleyball
1991	Jon Llewellyn, wrestling
        Sarah Sharp, basketball
        Renee Heiken, golf
1992	Tim Simpson, football
        Len Sitko, track/cross country
        Renee Heiken, golf
        Tonja Buford, track
1993	Marko Koers, track
        Tonja Buford, track
1994	Anthony Jones, track
        Tina Rogers, volleyball
1995	Dana Howard, football
        Steve Marianetti, wrestling
        Tonya Williams, track
1996	Kevin Hardy, football
        Tonya Williams, track
1997	Ernest Benion, wrestling
        Ashley Berggren, basketball
1998	Eric Siebert, wrestling
        Ashley Berggren, basketball
        Yvonne Harrison, track & field
1999	Oliver Freelove, tennis
       	Cristy Chapman, volleyball
2000	Jason Anderson, baseball
        Jessica Aveyard, swimming
2001	Adam Tirapelle, wrestling
        Perdita Felicien, track & field
2002	Kurt Kittner, football
        Perdita Felicien, track & field
2003	Amer Delic, tennis
        Matt Lackey, wrestling
        Perdita Felicien, track & field
2004	Justin Spring, gymnastics
        Leisha Alcia, soccer
2005	Deron Williams, basketball
        Cassie Hunt, track & field/cross country
2006	Justin Spring, gymnastics
       	Cassie Hunt, track & field/cross country
2007	Kevin Anderson, tennis
	Yvonne Mensah, track & field
2008	J Leman, football
	Angela Bizzarri, track & field/cross country
2009	Paul Ruggeri, gymnastics
	Angela Bizzarri, track & field/cross country
2010	Scott Langley, golf
	Angela Bizzarri, track & field/cross country

All-Time Illinois Newcomers of the Year

1990	Steve Bridges, track & field/cross country
	Peggy Pullman, gymnastics
1991	Deon Thomas, basketball
	Mandy Cunningham, basketball
1992	Marko Koers, track & field
	Becky Biehl, golf
1993	Simeon Rice, football
	Kirsten Gleis, volleyball
1994	Jerry Turek, tennis
	Nicole "Punti" Viernes, gymnastics
1995	Robert Holcombe, football
	Erin Borske, volleyball
1996	Karl Roesler, wrestling
	Kim Berres, gymnastics
1997	Chris Jones, track & field
	Cary Franklin, tennis
	Tisha Ponder, track & field
1998	Adam Tirapelle, wrestling
	Aleisha Latimer, track & field
1999	Cory Bradford, basketball
	Jason Van Swol, track & field
	Allison Curtin, basketball
2000	Brandon Lloyd, football
	Shavonna Hunter, basketball
2001	Amer Delic, tennis
	Phil Stolt, tennis
	Jennifer McGaffigan, tennis
	Susanna Kallur, track & field
2002	Drew Davidson, baseball
	Ashley Williams, gymnastics
2003	Alex Tirapelle, wrestling
	Rajeev Ram, tennis
	Rachelle Coriddi, softball
2004	E.B. Halsey, football
	Cassie Hunt, track & field/cross country
2005	Kevin Anderson, tennis
	Macall Harkins, tennis
2006	Kyle Hudson, football/baseball
	Julie Crall, gymnastics
2007	Gakologelwang Masheto, track & field
	Angela Bizzarri, track & field/cross country
2008	Arrelious Benn, football
	Allison Buckley, gymnastics
2009	Andrew Riley, track & field
	Michelle Bartsch, volleyball
2010	D.J. Richardson, basketball
	Pepper Gay, softball
HEADLINES