Sarah Pavan (Nebraska volleyball) and Chase Daniel (Missouri football) have been named 2007-08 Big 12 Conference Athletes of the Year, the league office announced.
Nominees are submitted by each Big 12 institution and selected by a media panel based on 2007-08 athletic performance, academic achievement and citizenship.
Pavan, honored for the second consecutive year, is the most decorated volleyball student-athlete in Big 12 history. For the 2007 season she was named Volleyball Magazine National Player of the Year, AVCA First Team All-America and Big 12 Player of the Year. The senior right side hitter led Nebraska to its fourth-straight Big 12 title with a 19-1 league record and a 30-2 overall mark with a trip to the NCAA Regional final, where she was named to the all-tournament team. Pavan holds Nebraska school records for most career kills (2,008) and kills per game (4.56). Her other career honors include the 2006-07 Honda-Broderick Cup winner and AVCA National Player of the Year. She is among only four volleyball players in NCAA history who were named to the AVCA All-America First Team four times. The three-time Big 12 Player of the Year guided the Huskers to a 126-7 record over her career with two NCAA finals appearances and the 2006 national title.
In addition to her athletic accomplishments, the Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, native graduated in May with a 4.00 grade point average in biochemistry. She was selected a 2008 NCAA Today’s Top VIII Recipient and was awarded a 2008 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Pavan was named ESPN the Magazine’s Volleyball Academic All-American of the Year in 2006 and 2007 and was the winner across all University division sports for the 2006-07 season. She was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection (freshmen not eligible for the award).
Pavan was also active in community service projects during her career including spokesperson for the Lincoln Downs Syndrome Buddy Walk, SafeQuarters to Benefit Friendship Home volunteer and motivational speaker for the “School is Cool” Celebration program.
Daniel finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 2007 while leading Missouri to a share of its first Big 12 North division title and its first appearance in the Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship Game. The junior quarterback was a finalist for the O’Brien, Walter Camp and Manning awards. He was named Second Team All-America by the Associated Press, Walter Camp and Sporting News. Daniel was an All-Big 12 First Team selection and named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year as Mizzou won a school-record 12 games and was ranked No. 4 in the final Associated Press poll. He threw for a MU-record 4,306 yards and 33 touchdowns while finishing the season seventh in the nation in total offense (325.6 ypg) and 15th in pass efficiency (147.89).
The Southlake, Texas, native also excelled in the classroom and in the community. He was named 2007 Academic All-District First Team, Academic All-Big 12 First Team and to the Dean’s List. Daniel directed a spring youth football camp for the Boys/Girls Club of Columbia and volunteers for the Lunch-In-The Park program, which is an after-school program that provides kids with a safe place to play and allows them to interact with positive role models. He also assists with the Central Missouri Food Bank & Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Other female candidates were Zuzana Zemenova (Baylor tennis), Lisa Knoll (Iowa State track), Elizaveta Avdeeva (Kansas tennis), Loren Groves (Kansas State track), Adrianne Perry (Missouri gymnastics), Kiara Redmond-Sturms (Oklahoma gymnastics), Pernilla Lindberg (Oklahoma State golf), Mary Yarrison (Texas diving), Megan Gibson (Texas A&M softball) and Sally Kipyego (Texas Tech cross country and track).
Male nominees included Lars Poerschke (Baylor tennis), Brent Vaughn (Colorado cross country and track), Chris Baker (Iowa State golf), Egor Agafonov (Kansas track), Michael Beasley (Kansas State basketball), Dusty Jonas (Nebraska track), Curtis Lofton (Oklahoma football), Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State golf), Leonel Manzano (Texas track), Ozzie Gardner (Texas A&M swimming), Graham Harrell (Texas Tech football).
Big 12 Athletes of the Year
2007-08, Sarah Pavan, Nebraska; Chase Daniel, Missouri
2006-07; Sarah Pavan, Nebraska; Ben Askren, Missouri
2005-06; Cat Osterman, Texas; Vince Young, Texas
2004-05; Cat Osterman, Texas; Derrick Johnson, Texas
2003-04; Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State; Jason White, Oklahoma
2002-03; Cat Osterman, Texas; Nick Collison, Kansas
2001-02; Stacey Dales-Schuman, Oklahoma; Cael Sanderson, Iowa State
2000-01; Greichaly Cepero, Nebraska; Josh Heupel, Oklahoma
1999-00; Erin Aldrich, Texas; Charles Howell, Oklahoma State
1998-99; Suziann Reid, Texas; Ricky Williams, Texas
1997-99; Vera Ilyina, Texas; Grant Wistrom, Nebraska
1996-97; Nanceen Perry, Texas; Jacque Vaughn, Kansas