Big Rapids, Mich. - Two standout Ferris State University
student-athletes have received the prestigious distinction as
recipients of the Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award for
the 2013-14 athletics campaign in an announcement made today.
This year's award winners include junior goaltender CJ Motte (St. Clair) of the Bulldog men's ice hockey program along with talented senior runner Anna Rudd (Leslie) of the FSU women's track and field/cross country program, who received the honor for the second consecutive year. They were selected in voting conducted by the Bulldog head coaches and selected FSU Athletics Department staff members.
Both individuals were recognized as the school's top male and female student-athletes, respectively, for their accomplishments this past season. Rudd becomes only the eighth student-athlete in school history to receive the honor multiple times.
"We're thrilled with the selections of Anna Rudd and CJ Motte as this year's Dean Davenport Bulldog of the Year Award recipients," said FSU Atheltics Director Perk Weisenburger. "Anna is among a select group of Bulldogs who have achieved this prestigious distinction more than once and she had another impressive year in leading our women's track and cross country program while claiming both All-America and Academic All-America honors, making her a very deserving recipient.
"CJ led our Bulldog Hockey team to yet another outstanding campaign, winning the WCHA and reaching the NCAA Elite Eight. He also achieved some great personal recognition as evidenced by being named college hockey's Premier Player of the Year and a Hobey Baker Award finalist. We congratulate them both on their accomplishments both on and off the playing surface," he added.
The Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award, which was reinstated in the 2002-03 season following a seven-year absence, is presented annually to the most outstanding Ferris State male and female student-athlete. Award criteria consists of strong athletic achievements (must be a letterwinner and achieve outstanding athletic accomplishment), strong individual character and academic achievement.
The award was renamed in honor of former Ferris State Athletics Director Dean Davenport, who served in the position from 1979-93. During his tenure at Ferris, Davenport was instrumental in the planning of the FSU Sports Complex, the growth of women's intercollegiate athletics, the emergence of Ferris' NCAA Division I men's ice hockey program and the development of the athletics scholarship program. He also led the athletics department to 14 consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) President's Cup Championships. Davenport also played a key role in helping found many of the department's key major annual awards.
Motte was chosen this past season as the recipient of the National Premier Player of the Year Award following an online fan vote. The junior netminder, who was also named as a top 10 finalist for the 2014 Hobey Baker Award presented to college hockey's most outstanding player, helped the Bulldogs to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Regular-Season Championship in their debut season. FSU also finished as the WCHA Final Five Runner-Up and reached the NCAA Elite Eight this past season.
This past year, Motte moved into second place in career victories for a Bulldog goaltender and now owns a 48-29-10 career record to date. His 28 total wins in net this season ranked as the second-best seasonal figure in school history behind the 30 wins posted by Mike Brown in the memorable 2002-03 campaign.
Motte was also among the nominees for the inaugural Mike Richter Goaltender of the Year honor and is the latest in a series of talented Bulldog goaltenders over the past decade that most recently also included former All-Americans Pat Nagle (2011) and Taylor Nelson (2012). His total of 28 wins this season was three more than any other goaltender in the country heading into the NCAA Tournament.
The junior standout's play helped the Bulldogs compile a nation-leading 29 victories overall, which ranks second on FSU's all-time single season chart. He tallied an overall 28-9-3 mark in net with five shutout victories along with a 2.17 goals against average and a .928 save percentage this year while ranking among the nation's top five leaders in winning percentage.
Both an All-American and Academic All-American this year for the second-straight year, Rudd placed fifth overall this spring in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Track & Field Championships as she clocked 35:31.33 in the event held at the Grand Valley State Track & Field Stadium in Allendale to wrap up her Bulldog career. The race was her first of two events in the national championships as she also placed 10th overall in the 5,000 meters on the final day.
Rudd was the GLIAC indoor champion in the 3,000 meters this season, while garnering All-GLIAC honors and being named to the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region and All-America teams for the second straight year.
Previously, she became the second-ever women's track and field national champion in school history by winning the 5,000 meters at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships and was also awarded the 2013-14 Bulldog of the Year Award for outstanding female athlete. She has claimed GLIAC All-Academic Excellence honors in the last three years in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field.
This year, Rudd also placed seventh overall earlier in the 5K at the Division II National Indoor Championships held in March (14-15) in Winston-Salem, N.C. She clocked 17:14.19 in the 5K at the indoor nationals to earn All-America honors for the second-straight year in the event. Rudd also earned USTFCCCA All-Region accolades for the outdoor campaign and placed third overall in the 5,000 meters (17:08.22) at the 2014 GLIAC Outdoor Championships.
Motte's selection marks the fifth time a Bulldog men's ice hockey player has been honored as a winner of the Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award and the third in a row following in the footsteps of All-America goaltender Taylor Nelson and former captain Kyle Bonis the last two years.
Meanwhile, Rudd is among eight women's track and field/cross country participants to claim the honor and it marks the sixth year in a row in which a member of the program has earned the distinction on the heels of three-time winner Tina Muir (2009-12) and former runner Mikinzie Stuart in 2008-09 prior to her selection the last two seasons.
The other student-athlete nominees for the 2013-14 Dean Davenport Bulldog of the Year Award were Trent Davison (men's golf), Sarah DeShone (women's basketball), Laurent Galarneau (men's tennis), Drew Lehman (men's basketball), Brandie Merren (volleyball), Ashley Swanson (women's golf) and Jason Vander Laan (football).
Bulldog of the Year Recipients:
2013-14 – CJ Motte (Men's Ice Hockey) and Anna Rudd (Women's Track & Field/CC)
2012-13 – Kyle Bonis (Men's Ice Hockey) and Anna Rudd (Women's Track & Field/CC)
2011-12 – Taylor Nelson (Men's Ice Hockey) and Tina Muir (Women's Track & Field/CC)
2010-11 – Justin Keenan (Men's Basketball) and Tina Muir (Women's Track & Field/CC)
2009-10 – Justin Keenan (Men's Basketball), Eric Lilleboe (Men's Golf), and Tina Muir (Women's Track & Field/CC)
2008-09 – Jake Visser (Football), Mikinzie Stuart (Women's Track & Field/Cross Country)
2007-08 – Jake Visser (Football), Rachel Folcik (Women's Basketball), and Becky Hoffman (Women's Golf)
2006-07 – Mike Klobucher (Football), Rachel Folcik (Women's Basketball), and Kristie Smilanich (Women's Soccer)
2005-06 – Dennis Springs (Men's Basketball), Jenny Irwin (Women's Cross Country and Women's Track & Field)
2004-05 – Carlton Epps (Men's Basketball), Karla Fairbanks (Women's Volleyball)
2003-04 – Derek Fudge (Football), Lucy DeMartin (Women's Basketball)
2002-03 – Chris Kunitz (Men's Ice Hockey), Kathryn Bobbie (Women's Golf)
1995-96 – Bill Love (Football), Theresa Luciow (Softball)
1994-95 – Bill Love (Football), Shelli Gaul (Women's Track & Field)
1993-94 – Ed Philion (Football), Kathy O'Connor (Women's Volleyball & Women's Basketball)
1992-93 – Monty Brown (Football), Jodi Raab (Women's Basketball)
1991-92 – Dan Hutcheson (Wrestling), Monica Ferguson (Women's Cross Country/Track & Field)
1990-91 – John DePourcq (Men's Ice Hockey), Karen Volkers (Women's Volleyball)
1989-90 – Paul Cochran (Men's Track & Field/Football), Karen Volkers (Women's Volleyball)
1988-89 – Jarvis Walker (Men's Basketball), Penny Bailey (Women's Track & Field/Cross Country)
1987-88 – Dave DenBraber (Football), Patty Theis (Women's Volleyball)
1986-87 – Brad Morris (Wrestling), Patty Theis (Women's Volleyball) and Karen Kramer (Women's Basketball)
1985-86 – Scott Kelly (Baseball), Patty Theis (Women's Volleyball)
1984-85 – Paul Jungck (Wrestling), Sharon Sanders (Women's Volleyball)
1983-84 – Terry Schumacher (Wrestling), Leigh Feenstra (Women's Volleyball)
1982-83 – Bruce Faccio (Football), Monta Ware (Women's Basketball) and Linda Spicer (Women's Volleyball)
1981-82 – Tim Smelser (Wrestling), Vicki Williams (Women's Basketball)
1980-81 – Rick Baillergeon (Men's Basketball), Terri Fraser (Women's Volleyball & Women's Basketball)
1979-80 – David Sall (Football), Roxanne Abramouski (Softball)
1978-79 – Tim Herman (Men's Basketball), Sharon Lipinski (Women's Basketball)