WEST POINT, N.Y. – The College Gymnastics Association announced today that California redshirt senior Donothan Bailey is one of nine finalists for the Nissen-Emery Award, which is considered to be the Heisman Trophy of collegiate gymnastics. Bailey is looking to become the first Golden Bear in school history to win the award.
“Donothan is an extraordinary student-athlete,” said associate head coach Brett McClure. “To be nominated for this prestigious award is a direct reflection of the hard work, dedication and passion he has for this program and institution. We are honored to have him represent the Cal Men’s Gymnastics family and wish him the best of luck, as he is deserving of this award.”
Bailey has been an integral part of the No. 9 Bears’ success this season, in which they have set numerous school records. An integrative Biology major with a 3.43 grade point average, the team co-captain has personal collegiate bests in all events 15.200 and over, was a fifth place finisher at the 2013 USA Championships on pommel horse and represented the United States on their senior national team at the Pan-American Games in 2011, where the US finished third in team competition.
This year’s winner will be announced at the University of Michigan during the CGA Awards Banquet which is being held at the Jack Roth Stadium Club on Wednesday, April 9, at 8 p.m. EST, in Ann Arbor, Mich., the site for this year’s NCAA Championships.
The highest honor in collegiate gymnastics, the Nissen-Emery award has been presented annually since 1966 to an outstanding senior collegiate gymnast based on his achievement, sportsmanship and academic excellence.
The original Nissen Award was named in honor of George Nissen, a former NCAA champion, for his contributions to men’s gymnastics. The award was re-named the Nissen-Emery Award in 1998 to honor Dr. Robert Emery, a Penn State graduate, who won the Nissen Award in 1969.
College gymnastics head coaches all across the nation are requested each year to submit nominations for the award. Gymnasts receiving a 50% vote of confidence from the head coaches are then placed on a final ballot and voted upon by the coaches, team captains, Honorary Lifetime Members, and conference judges. The award is inscribed with the motto: "The true champion seeks excellence physically, mentally, socially and morally."
2014 Nissen-Emery Award Finalists: Donothan Bailey (California) Zack Chase (Minnesota) Presten Ellsworth (Oklahoma) Adrian Evans (Penn State) Landon Funiciello (William & Mary) Sam Mikulak (Michigan) Michael Newburger (Ohio State) Chris Turner (Stanford) Kip Webber (Army)