May 21, 2002
Inaugural Division I-AA ADs Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year Chosen
Cleveland, Ohio - Vince Huntsberger, a football player at the University of Montana, has been chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Division I-AA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AA ADA) Scholar-Athlete of the Year and will receive a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship. Huntsberger was selected from a group of five finalists. He will receive his award during the DI-AA ADA reception on Sunday, June 16 at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas.
"As the Division I-AA Athletics Directors Association has grown, we are pleased to be able to present a scholarship to one of our outstanding student-athletes," said John Johnson, chair of the Division I-AA ADA Academic All-Star Team Selection Committee and athletics director at Weber State. "Vince is very deserving of this recognition."
Football players from all Division I-AA institutions were eligible for the Division I-AA Academic All-Star Team. There were 141 nominees, of which 43 were selected to the All-Star Team. The five finalists, from which Huntsberger was chosen, were among the 43 members of the All-Star Team. Nominees were required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or key player with legitimate athletics credentials. He must have reached his second year of athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution and have completed a minimum of one full academic year at the nominated institution. He must also have participated in 50 percent of the games played at his designated position.
Huntsberger, a strong safety, posted a GPA of 3.87 in biology/pre-medicine. A first-team Academic All-American in 1999 and 2000, Huntsberger was named the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame National Scholar-Athlete in 2001. He was the Big Sky Conference Most Valuable Defensive Player in 1999 and 2001 and was named to the All-Big Sky Conference team in 1999, 2000 and 2001. The leading tackler for Montana with 113, 58 unassisted, the two-year team captain also led the conference with five forced fumbles.
Huntsberger will attend medical school at the University of Washington where he plans to specialize in sports medicine. "Being honored for both academics and athletics performances if very gratifying," said Huntsberger. "I worked very hard throughout my college career and it is very fulfilling to have others recognize my achievements. Having athletics directors choose the recipient makes this award mean even more. They understand the time and effort that is put forward both athletically and academically throughout a student-athlete's career."
A special Review Committee of Division I-AA athletics directors was responsible for selecting the scholarship recipient. Completing this task were John Johnson, chair, Weber State; Terry Driscoll, William and Mary; Kim Graham, Liberty; Wayne Hogan, Montana; Steve McCarty, Stephen F. Austin; Dave Roach, Brown; and Dennis Thomas, Hampton.
Now in its ninth year, the Division I-AA Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance Division I-AA football. The Association is administered by NACDA, which, now in its 37th year, is the professional and educational association for more than 6,150 athletics directors, associates, assistants and conference administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Through its series of management seminars, clinics and workshops and publication of the bi-monthly magazine Athletics Administration, NACDA offers educational opportunities to its members. More than 1,200 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. NACDA also owns and operates the two preseason football games, the Kickoff and Pigskin Classics. Additionally, NACDA operates the Sears Directors' Cup program, which honors the all-sports champion in each of the NCAA Divisions -- I, II and III -- and the NAIA, for a total of four trophies.
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