Gator Men End of Year Awards – Non-Football

When I started looking at the Gator sports year, it was readily apparent that the success of the football team dwarfed everything else and would make it impossible to do justice to the other teams on campus.

So instead we offer up the men's end of the year awards without including football. Tomorrow we will round out our little mini-series with football awards in some of the same categories as the first two with a couple of additions and deletions.

So on we go with the most outstanding performances in Gator Men's sports other than the BCS Champion Football team.

Team of the Year --- Outdoor Track and Field --- Mike Holloway's team authored a great performance at the NCAA Championship meet finishing just two points behind Texas A&M for the title. The meet was highlighted by the Gators winning the 4x100 Meter Relay with the team of Dennis Martin, Calvin Smith, Terrell Wilks and Jeremy Hall. Five members of the team also had top four finishes in their events.

Coach of the Year --- Greg Troy --- The Men's Swimming and Diving team posted a fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships and broke 10 school records in the meet. The Gators won three individual NCAA Titles as well. The performance followed up on a strong second place finish at the SEC meet. The Gators are still chasing Auburn for supremacy in the SEC, but they're getting closer.

Moment of the Year --- Baseball Wins Regional --- The Gator Baseball team had NEVER eliminated Miami in NCAA Regional competition. Miami on the other hand had ended the Gators' season seven times over the years including twice in Gainesville. That history was finally re-written this season when the Gators routed Miami 8-2 to get into the winner's bracket and then 16-5 to advance to the Super Regional.

Athlete of the Year --- Shaun Fraser --- The junior swimmer capped off an outstanding season with a spectacular performance at the NCAA Championships. The native of the Cayman Islands won both the 200-freestyle and 200-butterfly and finished 5th in the 200 Individual Medley. He scored 54 points by himself, not counting his share of two relay teams that placed as well. If he were a school unto himself, Fraser would have finished 15th in the nation.

Unsung Athlete of the Year --- Billy Horschel --- The senior golfer capped a sterling career by winning Individual Medalist honors at the SEC Championship Tournament. Horschel was also named SEC Player of the Year, a first team All-American and was one of 20 golfers chosen from all levels of collegiate gold to the All Nicklaus team.

Freshman of the Year --- Preston Tucker --- The baseball newcomer from Tampa Plant didn't exactly set the world on fire from his first day on campus. In fact as of March 24 Tucker was hitting .242 with just one homer and nine RBI. In the next 42 games Tucker raised his average to .364 while blasting 14 homers and driving in 76 runs. He set the school RBI record finishing with 85 for the season and was named SEC Co-Freshman of the year and a Freshman All-American. He had an 11 RBI game against UCF and drove in 40 runs in 29 SEC games.

Tomorrow we offer up awards for the Football team.


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