ATLANTA, GA -- Texas A&M senior golfer Matt Van Zandt has been named a semifinalist for the 5th Annual Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, an award given for the most outstanding role model among athletes. The Wooden Cup is given to a collegiate and a professional athlete who have made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others.
The award recipients will be announced at a ceremony held at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club on Jan. 14. Baseball great Cal Ripkin, Jr., will be the 2009 professional recipient.
Finalists for the collegiate division are Ryan Adler (Hobart College, ice hockey), Andrew Berry (Harvard, football), Lauren Mioton (Purdue, basketball), Tim Tebow (Florida, football), Rob Whiting (Vanderbilt, cross country).
The semifinalists were Jenny Barringer (Colorado, cross country/track and field), Amanda Blumenhurst (Duke, golf), Jenny Brine (Harvard, ice hockey), Ian Campbell (Kansas State, football), Mamadou Diene (Baylor, basketball), Raymond Jordan (Missouri, wrestling), Jeff Lerg (Michigan State, ice hockey), Tim Masthay, Kentucky, football), Brandon McArthur (Florida, baseball), Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma, football), Adrienne Mills (Auburn, gymnastics), Brianna O’Donnell (North Carolina, field hockey), Elizabeth Quinley (Michigan Tech, cross country, nordic skiing, track and field), Maxwell Seibald (Cornell, lacrosse), Matt Van Zandt (Texas A&M, golf) and Brett Winkelman (North Dakota State, basketball).
The semifinalists will receive certificates of recognition.
Van Zandt is the only two-time recipient of the Big 12 Community Outreach Male Athlete of the Year award, winning the honor in 2006 and 2008. He is a past president of Aggies CAN, the largest student-athlete charity event in the country, and is a past president of the Texas A&M Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. In 2006, he served as coordinator of the Big Event, the largest, one-day student-run service project in the nation. A 2008 Academic All-American, Van Zandt also has served on mission trips to Zimbabwe and Africa and has been involved in many other community service activities.
With Peyton Manning, John Smoltz, John Lynch, and Andrea Yaeger previous recipients, the Wooden Cup is becoming one of the most prestigious awards in all of sports. Recipients are considered role models and athletes of excellence both on and off the field. Founded by Athletes for a Better World (ABW), a non-profit organization committed to changing the culture of American sports, the Wooden Cup is unique in that it is open to athletes in all collegiate and professional sports. Nominations come from every conference in the NCAA.
The Wooden Cup is named in honor of John Wooden, one of the most successful coaches in collegiate history. Wooden’s legacy as a person of integrity, high moral character, compassion, and civic-mindedness continues to make him one of the most admired coaches in the history of sport.
Recipients of the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup are chosen by a committee chaired by Vincent Dooley, former University of Georgia athletic director, and other distinguished individuals involved in athletics across the country.
About Athletes for a Better World:
Founded in 1998, Athletes for a Better World (ABW) exists to change the culture of sport by developing individual character, teamwork, and civic responsibility through commitment to the Code for Living. ABW’s vision is to have the Code become a part of every sport at every level, so that it becomes the common language and standard expectation of behavior for everyone. ABW provides free support and resources to coaches and athletes across the country who want to teach and live out these values. “The Code for Living” can be found on playing fields, locker rooms and athletic facilities across the country. Currently, ABW players and coaches are represented in every state and several foreign countries.