Dec. 5, 2008
California senior center Alex Mack, a two-time first-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection, was named the Toyo Tires Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for football on Friday.
The honor adds to the long list of awards for Mack this fall. Already, he has been named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and finalist for the Draddy Award, which is presented to the top football scholar-athlete in the country. The winner will be announced Tuesday night during a ceremony in New York.
In addition, Mack is a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the best center in the country, and for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for athletic and academic achievement. A semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award, he was named a first-team mid-season All-American by both Sporting News Today and College Football News.
Working in cooperation with the Pac-10, the Toyo Tires awards have been established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sport's discipline. A Scholar-Athlete of the Year is named in each of the Pac-10's 22 sponsored sports: baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country, football, men's golf, women's golf, women's gymnastics, men's rowing, women's rowing, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball, men's swimming & diving, women's swimming & diving, men's tennis, women's tennis, men's track & field, women's track & field, women's volleyball, and wrestling.
Each Pac-10 institution nominates one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-10 staff members at the conclusion of each sport's regular season. The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award. The nomination criteria are:
- minimum of one year in residence at the institution
- participation in at least 50% of the scheduled contest in the sport; and
- cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher;
- senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree;
"Toyo is proud to support the Pac-10 and to acknowledge outstanding student-athletes for their efforts," said Steve Hutchinson, senior director of marketing, Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corporation. "By supporting today's achievers, we feel we are helping to grow tomorrow's leaders."
The Scholar-Athletes of the Year in each sport will receive a commemorative award. Toyo will donate $1,000 to the scholarship funds of the institution's athletic department of each winner in recognition of their accomplishments. The nomination and awarding process continues from now until May 2009. The first Pac-10 Scholar-Athletes of the Year, presented by Toyo Tires, for the 2008-09 season are:
- Jenna Kingma (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Arizona State University, Women's Cross Country - 3.63 GPA, Marketing
- Nicole Dobrzynski (Danville, Calif.), University of Oregon, Women's Soccer - 3.81 GPA, Business Administration
- Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.), University of Oregon, Men's Cross Country - 3.91 GPA, Business Administration
- George John (Shoreline, Wash.), University of Washington, Men's Soccer - 3.42 GPA, Business Administration
- Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), Stanford University, Volleyball - 3.34 GPA, Political Science
- Alex Mack (Santa Barbara, Calif.), University of California, Football - 3.60 GPA, Education
"The Pac-10 welcomes Toyo Tires' sponsorship of the Conference's Student-Athlete of the Year Awards, and joins Toyo in recognizing these student-athletes during the 2008-09 academic year," said Tom Hansen, Commissioner of the Pac-10. "To be selected as the best student-athlete in any sport in the Pac-10 is a very special honor, and these are special young people, in academics as well as athletics. We are very appreciative that Toyo is helping them gain the recognition they deserve for their unique achievements."