"It was a neat event and very professionally done," said Matvick, who lives in Minnesota and has covered several football, basketball, and baseball games at Ole Miss. "People at Ole Miss know how to dress. They went way above and beyond that tonight."
The Play of the Year and the Game of the Year were from the same moment – Chris Warren's winning shot in Ole Miss' home win against Kentucky and the Rebels' 71-69 win over the Wildcats.
Back stage afterward, Warren addressed the media.
"This is the first year they are doing this, so winning an award is a good thing," said Warren, the senior point guard who finished his Ole Miss career as the third all-time leading scorer. "It was good to have everybody here and to go out in style."
Indeed all student-athletes and coaches along with administrators and fans filled the Ford Center. Matvick picked at Warren a bit when his acceptance speech was finished – his very short acceptance speech of about three lines.
"Chris, your beard is longer than that acceptance speech," Matcivk said.
"Derek Horne (former UM associate AD now serving as AD at Florida A&M) did a great job working with our student-athletes on things like this," said assistant athletics director Jamil Northcutt. "It's good to have all our student-athletes here and represented. And it's good to have the Lafayette-Oxford-University community join in this type event together."
Modeled after the Catsbys at Kentucky and the Volscars at Tennessee, the one Ole Miss presented was unique in that it was done in a performing arts center.
"Nobody in the conference has done what we did tonight the way we did it," Northcutt said.
The winners were unique as well. In addition to Warren and the Rebels' win over Kentucky, here are the others who were recognized:
Women's Rookie of the Year: Valencia McFarland – basketball
Men's Rookie of the Year: Ricky Robertson – track and field
Women's Community Outreach Award: Juliana Smith – track and field
Men's Community Outreach Award: Lee Moore – track and field
Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Gabby Rangel – tennis
Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Lee Moore – track and field
Women's Hotty Toddy (Spirit) Award: Morgan Springer – volleyball
Men's Hotty Toddy (Spirit) Award: Tucker Vorster – tennis
Women's Coach of the Year: Joe Getzin – volleyball
Men's Coach of the Year: Billy Chadwick – tennis
Fan Favorite: Jerrell Powe
Women's Most Valuable Rebel: Regina Thomas – volleyball
Men's Most Valuable Rebel: Barnabas Kirui – track and field
Men's Team of the Year: Tennis
Women's Team of the Year: Tennis