Skyhawk Athletics holds annual UTMmys presented by Leaders Credit Union

 Skyhawk Athletics holds annual UTMmys presented by Leaders Credit Union

The UT Martin Athletics Department spotlighted its student-athletes for another remarkable academic year Wednesday night at the UTMmys, presented by Leaders Credit Union.

Each Skyhawk head coach turned in a Team Most Valuable Player and the major awards – Bettye Giles Female Athlete of the Year and Bob Carroll Male Athlete of the Year – were chosen from that list. UT Martin’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee also selected five different category winners while the athletic department unveiled four new categories for the first time in 2023.

Kaci Fuller from the Skyhawk softball team was voted as Bettye Giles Female Athlete of the Year. A Huntingdon native, the left-handed hitter leads the OVC in batting average (.436, 20th nationally) and hits (51) while also ranking in the league’s top-10 in slugging percentage (.718, fourth), on-base percentage (.472, fourth), RBI’s (28, fifth), home runs (7, sixth) and triples (2, seventh). She owns 16 multi-hit games and has reached base safely in 29 of her 34 games this spring. Just a junior, she already ranks in the top-10 in program history in batting average (.387, first), slugging percentage (.574, second) and triples (8, sixth).

The other finalists for 2022-23 Bettye Giles Female Athlete of the Year were Sharnecce Currie-Jelks (women’s basketball), Julia Gilman (equestrian), and Logan Wallick (volleyball/beach volleyball).

Receiving the Bob Carroll Male Athlete of the Year award was Jordan Sears from the UT Martin men’s basketball squad. The sophomore guard from Daytona Beach earned All-OVC first team, OVC All-Newcomer and OVC All-Tournament accolades in his debut season as a Skyhawk. He ranked fourth in the league in scoring (18.2 points per game) in OVC play while topping UT Martin in assists (2.8 per contest) and total points (489). He led the team in scoring 14 times over the final 22 games, including a career-best 33-point outburst in the OVC Championship quarterfinals to help the Skyhawks to their first OVC Final Four appearance since 2017.

Finalists for the 2022-23 Bob Carroll Male Athlete of the Year included Luke McNair (cross country/track and field), Cole Walker (rodeo), and Dresser Winn (football).

The SAAC awards included Clutch Performance of the Year (baseball’s Andrew Fernandez going 5-for-5 in his UT Martin debut three weeks after suffering multiple facial injuries), Coach of the Year (a tie between volleyball/beach volleyball’s Jaclynn Wilson and men’s basketball’s Ryan Ridder), Newcomer of the Year (Currie-Jelks), Signature Win (Walker winning an all-around national championship at the 2022 College National Finals Rodeo), and Team of the Year (beach volleyball).

Making their debuts this year was the Col. William R. Kaler Academic Achievement Award (equestrian’s Casey Ruggiero), the Phil Dane Community Service Award (equestrian’s Anna Ordonio), the Jerry Carpenter Spirit of the Skyhawk Award (men’s basketball’s Parker Stewart), and UTM Career Achievement Awards (football’s Colton Dowell, football’s John H. Ford II, track and field’s Brady Fry, Gilman, football’s Matthan Hatchie, softball’s Kaitlyn Kelley, McNair, volleyball/beach volleyball’s Karen Scanlon and Wallick).