April 27, 2006
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Big Ten Conference announced the 2006 Men's Tennis All-Big Ten team and Freshman, Athleteand Coach of the Year award winners on Thursday evening at the Big Ten Championship banquet in Minneapolis. 2005 All-Americans Ryler DeHeart and Kevin Anderson were both named to the 2006 All-Big Ten team while DeHeart received his second straight Player of the Year honor. Senior Pramod Dabir represented the Illini as the school's Sportsmanship Honoree.
DeHeart was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection for the second consecutive year after winning all eight of his league matches, seven of which were at the No. 1 position. He joins Iowa's Tyler Cleveland (2000 and 2001) as just the second student-athlete in league annals to win the award in consecutive seasons. DeHeart is the third Illini to claim the Big Ten's top honor, joining Brian Wilson (2004) and Oliver Freelove (1999). In 2004, the Tampa, Fla., native was named to the All-Big Ten team after a stellar sophomore campaign. DeHeart owns a 36-2 lifetime record against Big Ten foes.
Anderson finished the Big Ten regular season with a 5-1 mark. His only loss was to Big Ten Rookie of the Year Bryan Konieko of Ohio State. This is the South African's second consecutive All-Big Ten honor. In 2005, he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Konieko became the second Buckeye in three years to garner the award. Ohio State's Joey Atlas won it in 2004. Ohio State head coach Ty Tucker was chosen as the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second time in his career after being previously honored in 2001. Under Tucker's leadership, the Buckeyes compiled a perfect 10-0 Big Ten record to capture the program's first regular season title. He led seventh-ranked Ohio State to its sixth-straight 20-win season and the highest national ranking in program history.
This year's All-Big Ten team is comprised of four seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and one freshman - six of which were unanimous selections. Half of the squad is also comprised of repeat winners. Illinois' DeHeart earned his third All-Conference nod, while teammate Kevin Anderson claimed his second-straight honor. Michigan's Matko Maravic, Northwestern's Christian Tempke, Ohio State's Devin Mullings and Penn State's Mark Barry were all repeat selections.
The Conference office also announced honorees from each team for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The 11 student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. These student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the Conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.
A complete list of the 2006 All-Big Ten team and postseason honorees appears below.
Athlete of the Year:Ryler DeHeart, Illinois*
Freshman of the Year: Bryan Koniecko, Ohio State*
Coach of the Year: Ty Tucker, Ohio State*
2006 All-Big Ten Team
Ryler DeHeart, Illinois*
Nick Rinks, Michigan State
DJ Gaetz, Minnseota*
Christian Tempke, Northwestern
Chris Klingemann, Ohio State*
Bryan Koniecko, Ohio State
Devin Mullings, Ohio State
Mark Barry, Penn*
Jeremy Sonkin, Wisconsin*
2006 Sportsmanship Award Honorees
Pramod Dabir, Illinois
Neil Kenner, Indiana
Bart van Monsjou, Iowa
Brian Hung, Michigan
Mike Flowers, Michigan
Adrien Debreyne, Minnesota
Adam Schaechterle, Northwestern
Scott Green, Ohio State
Mark Barry, Penn State
Eric Hodgman, Purdue
Lachezar Kasarov, Wisconsin