Alabama Recognizes Student-Athletes

Senior gymnast Ashley Priess and senior football offensive lineman Barrett Jones were named the winners of the Paul W. Bryant Award given annually to the top University of Alabama male and female student-athlete. The Paul W. Bryant Student-Athlete Award was created by the Tuscaloosa County Chapter of the Alabama Alumni Association in 1985.

The Alabama Athletics Department's annual Alabama Student-Athlete Awards Banquet, presented by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, was held Monday evening in Foster Auditorium.

A 10-time All-America and three-year Scholastic All-America, Priess was a member of the Tide's 2011 and 2012 NCAA Championship team. A fifth-year senior, Alabama won two national championships, finished second once and third twice at the NCAA Championships during her career.

Jones earned the award for the second year in a row, after leading Alabama to its third BCS National Championship in the last four years. The 2013 Southeastern Conference McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Jones earned both and undergraduate and master's degree in accounting during his All-America career.

The newly crowned SEC women's golf and men's golf squads were cited as the teams with the highest grade point averages. Women's golf earned the honor while posting a 3.85 team GPA, and men's golf team earned the distinction with a 3.42.

The other finalists for the Bryant Student-Athlete Award were also recognized during the banquet. On the women's side that included Molly Atherton (soccer), Kayla Braud (softball), Tabitha Coleman (rowing), Emily Facchine (swimming and diving), Kayla Fitterer (volleyball), Antonia Foehse (tennis), Nikki Hegstetter (basketball), Stephanie Meadow (golf), and Alexis Paine (track and field).

On the men's side, the finalists were Jarryd Botha (tennis), Austin Duckworth (track and field/cross country), Levi Randolph (basketball), Kenny Roberts (baseball), Reese Shirey (swimming and diving), and Corey Whitsett (golf).

The athletics department's community outreach efforts were also recognized. Crimson Tide student-athletes gave more than 2,500 hours toward community services this year. The rowing team was the women's squad with the most community outreach hours while football earned the honor for the men. Individually, swimmer Brian Carr and rowing's Emily Chadwell were recognized for their service to the community.

Chuck Karr, the Dean of Alabama's College of Engineering, was honored with the Finest Faculty Award for his dedication to student-athlete achievement.

The Newcomer of the Year, which covers the 2012 season (spring and fall), went to men's golfer Justin Thomas while baseball's Tucker Hawley earned the Comeback Athlete of the Year award. Facchine was the winner of the Spirit of the Game Award for her dedication and love for her sport.

Athletics Director Bill Battle addressed the student-athletes. A highlight of the evening was a video tribute to the late Mal Moore, who preceded Battle.

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