What a great way to end another banner year for Gaucho Athletics. It was a year where we saw Big West Championships, NCAA Tournaments, and All-Americans.
The top honors of the night went to Orlando Johnson who was named Male Athlete of the Year and Rebecca Saraceno who took home Female Athlete of the Year.
Orlando (OJ) Johnson led the Gauchos back to the promise land this season as he led the conference in scoring. He took home many trophies this season as he was named Big West MVP, 1st Team All-Big West, Big West Tournament MVP, 1st Team All-Big West Tournament, AP Honorable Mention All-American, Mid Major All-American, and All-District. Mr. Johnson is going to need a big trophy case.
Rebecca Saraceno was the Big West MVP this season in volleyball. She recorded 4.55 kills per set and 2.66 digs per set. She also was AP Honorable Mention All-American, All-District, and 1st Team All-Big West.
The Men's Basketball team took home Team of the Year. They were the Big West Regular Season and Tournament Champions and represented the Big West in the Big Dance.
The Women's Track and Field team took home the other Team of the Year award. The ladies were ranked as high as #33 in the country during the season.
The Coach of the Year was Bob Williams of Men's Basketball and for the women it was Kathy Gregory of Women's Volleyball.
The Male Newcomer of the Year was Orlando Johnson. Let's put it this way, OJ is going to win a lot of awards during his next two years in Gaucho blue and gold. My bold prediction: A 2nd Round Draft Pick in 2012 NBA Draft.
The Female Newcomer of the Year was Mekia Valentine of Women's Basketball who set the school record for blocks in a season and also led the Lady Gauchos in scoring.
Between the awards, my man Matt in the Video Department made some great Ole videos and my favorite, I.V. Shore. I.V. Shore is a whole lot better than Jersey Shore. The 10 minute skit was about Ole going to live with some UCSB athletes such as "Big Sexy" Greg Somogyi, Mike "The Diesel" Ford, and Dana "Buns" Vargas. In the end, he is kicked out.
To recap the night, Men's Basketball won the most awards. Very deserving. Congrats to all 450 student-athletes on great years! Personally, I liked meeting new Men's Basketball assistant coach Kevin Bromley. He is a great coach and he will make a big impact.
A full list of awards: http://www.ucsbgauchos.cstv.com/ot/sbawards_10.html
Coach Williams gets his award
Me posing for a photo in my spiffy suit