Athletics News

Three Tigers Receive Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards

Courtney Collins was one of three Tigers named C-USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Courtney Collins was one of three Tigers named C-USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

July 19, 2012

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Marissa Steen (women's golf), Jack Belote (men's golf) and Courtney Collins (women's tennis) were chosen from the University of Memphis on Thursday as the winners of the 2011-12 Conference USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for their respective sports. Memphis, Rice, Tulsa and UAB led the conference with their three selections.

The C-USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards are presented to the top student-athletes in each conference-sponsored sport, and are determined by the Faculty Athletics Representatives of each school. The award is based on academic achievement (GPA), athletic achievement and service.

Steen, a West Chester, Ohio native, is a four-time National Golf Coaches Association All-America Scholar and a three-time C-USA All-Academic Team selection. Steen ended her Tiger career with six tournament victories, and holds the school single-season scoring average record of 73.97, which she set in 2010-11. She was a five-time C-USA Golfer of the Week honoree, and was named to the C-USA All-Tournament Team in 2011 after finishing second.

"Marissa Steen was the ideal student-athlete as she strived and achieved excellence in the classroom and the golf course," said women's golf head coach Beth Harrelson. "She also was involved in the community and was a team leader."

Belote, a Memphis native, helped the Tigers to an NCAA Championship berth this season and the team's first C-USA title. Belote ended the year with five top-10 finishes, including second place at the C-USA Championships. While at the U of M, Belote was a two-time All-Conference USA Second Team selection, and was chosen to the C-USA All-Academic team this season. Belote finished his Tiger career with a 73.8 scoring average, the fourth-best in school history.

"I'm very proud of Jack," said men's golf head coach Grant Robbins. "He has exemplified what it means to be a student-athlete as he has excelled both on the course and in the classroom. He is very deserving of this honor."

Collins, a Fulton, Miss., native, became the first women's tennis player to advance to the NCAA Championships, finishing the year with a record of 27-7 in singles play. The junior ended her year ranked No. 34 in the nation, leading the Lady Tigers to a 16-5 record. Collins is a two-time All-Conference USA First Team Singles selection and was named to the C-USA All-Academic Team this year. Collins is also the only Lady Tiger tennis player to be honored with the ITA Ohio Valley Region Cissie Leary Award For Sportsmanship and the C-USA Spirit of Service Award.

"I am grateful to have a player like Courtney that pursues excellence on the court, as well as in the classroom," said women's tennis head coach Lee Taylor Walker. "This past year was a remarkable year for Courtney on the tennis court. Few people realize that she will be completing her undergraduate degree this summer and beginning a master's degree this fall. Maintaining near a 4.0 GPA, graduating in three years, and performing at the level she has in tennis is truly a special accomplishment."

Read the conference release on the scholar-athletes here.

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