Sun Belt Conference honors presented during fall meetings

Published 9:42 am Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Sun Belt Conference hosted its annual Fall meetings on Tuesday and formally recognized its award winners from the 2020-21 season at the Sun Belt Honors Banquet.

South Alabama took home the night’s highest honor, the Vic Bubas Cup, which is the Sun Belt’s annual all sports championship trophy awarded to the top athletic department in the conference based on a points system. The honor is the 15th all-time Bubas Cup—and the fifth over the past seven seasons—for South Alabama.

South Alabama collected Sun Belt tournament championships in men’s cross country, women’s soccer, and men’s tennis and baseball, along with runner-up accolades in women’s tennis, men’s outdoor track & field, and women’s outdoor track & field in 2020-21. The Jaguars—who sponsor 17-of-18 Sun Belt sports—were also the regular-season champions in baseball and runners-up in women’s soccer and women’s tennis.

“We’re proud of the hard work and accomplishments of all of our 2020-21 honorees and we were delighted to be able to celebrate their achievements in person,” said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Keith Gill. “We were pleased, too, to recognize the members of our COVID-19 advisory panel for their work, enabling us to safely compete throughout the 2020-21 season.”

The Sun Belt Conference COVID-19 panel included Brandy Clouse of Georgia Southern, Dr. Jeff Dugas of Troy, Dr. Benjamin Estrada of South Alabama and Dr. Emilio Carranco of Texas State.

Individual honors went to the Sun Belt Student-Athletes of the Year, Mason McWhorter of Georgia Southern baseball and Ciara Bryan of Louisiana softball, and to Postgraduate Scholar-Athletes of the Year, Pascal Wagemaker of Georgia Southern men’s tennis and Susanna Pudner of South Alabama women’s track & field.

Annett Nemeth of Coastal Carolina volleyball and Claire Meyers of Louisiana women’s track & field, were also recognized as the Sun Belt Conference’s nominees for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.

Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) members from Georgia Southern and Louisiana were spotlighted; the Eagles took home the Community Impact Award; and the Ragin’ Cajuns received the Community Service Initiative honor.

Dr. Steve Grice, Director of the School of Accountancy at Troy University, who was named the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Faculty Member of the Year, rounded out the annual accolades.

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