July 17, 2013

Kylie Muntz Honored As Jimmy Swears Courage Award Recipient For Second Consecutive Year

Note: This is the third of four major FSU Athletics Awards that will be presented this week for the 2012-13 campaign.  The final award will be announced Thursday.

Big Rapids, Mich. - For the second consecutive year, Ferris State University senior guard Kylie Muntz (Dayton, Ohio/Wayne) of the Bulldog women's basketball program has been selected as the recipient of the FSU Athletics Department's Jimmy Swears Courage Award for the 2012-13 campaign.

A four-year letterwinner, Muntz played an instrumental role as the Bulldogs' lone fourth-year player on the floor this past season and served as a team leader as FSU reached the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Postseason Tournament under a new staff led by first-year head coach Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate.

In addition to having help lead a Bulldog team that lost several key players prior to the season due to injury, Muntz also battled thru personal adversity which included the death of her father, Jim, due to cancer near the middle of the season.  She missed only two games despite the loss and started the squad's other 24 contests as a senior, averaging a personal career-high nine points, four rebounds and two assists in addition to claiming GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team honors.

"This award is bestowed upon an individual that shows tremendous courage and achieves success in the face of adversity and Kylie certainly did that this past season," said FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. "She faced one of life's most difficult circumstances on a personal level and yet continued to be an oustanding leader for a young team in her senior campaign. We're proud of her accomplishments and the outstanding character she displayed thru it all." 

Muntz previously won the same award for the 2011-12 season and is the first two-time recipient of the annual award. Through her committment and spirited determination, Muntz has played an integral part in the team's success throughout her Bulldog career.

In 2011-12, Muntz played a key role off the bench on a team that won the GLIAC North Division Championship for only the second time in school history and reached the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinals. 

In addition to her success both academically and athletically, Muntz has also been active on campus and in the community.  She's previously helped the Bulldogs honor cancer survivors as part of the school's Pink Wave Night and the event has had a profound impact on her personally as her aunt is also a two-time breast cancer survivor.  In addition, she's also participated annually in helping Ferris State Athletics and the Bulldog Basketball programs raise money for the area Special Olympics with a charity game among other service endeavors.    

The Jimmy Swears Courage Award is presented to a deserving student or current personnel within the Bulldog Athletics program, who when confronted with a life-altering situation, has used perseverance, dedication and determination to overcome the odds.  Nominees are an inspiration to their peers, serve as a role model to others and are a team leader while responding to adversity.  Those individuals nominated for the award must be involved with the Bulldog intercollegiate athletics program and possibily include student-athletes, student managers, student coaches and/or student athletic trainers in addition to current athletics department personnel.

The award is named in honor of longtime FSU Athletics booster Jim Swears, who passed away Jan. 17, 2007, at the age of 64 following a lengthy bout with cancer.  A local businessman and community activist, Swears was a strong supporter of Ferris State men's ice hockey, football, and basketball.  He worked diligently to help develop and maintain FSU's status as a NCAA Division I men's ice hockey program.  Additionally, Swears served on the board of directors for the Big Rapids Area Junior Hockey Association and was an active member of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association.  He was the 2006 recipient of the Northern Lights Lifetime Achievement Award for business and industry in the Big Rapids (Mich.) area. 

During the 2012-13 campaign, Muntz totaled 217 points, 88 rebounds, 51 assists and 33 steals as the Bulldogs posted a 13-13 overall record.  She concluded her FSU career with 451 points, 192 rebounds, 141 assists and 82 steals in 107 collegiate contests.

Muntz became the fifth-ever winner of the Jimmy Swears Courage Award and the first women's basketball player to earn the recognition while first receiving the award a year ago, making this year's honor the sixth time in which the award has been bestowed.  

The other nominees for this year's honor included fellow women's basketball player Katy Fox, women's cross country/track and field athlete Anna Rudd along with men's basketball players Daniel Sutherlin and Milton Cribbs.

Jimmy Swears Courage Award Recipients
2012-13 - Kylie Muntz (Women's Basketball)
2011-12
 - Kylie Muntz (Women's Basketball)
2010-11 - Natalie Diorio (Women's Tennis)
2009-10 - Richard Weisenberger (Men's Golf)
2008-09 - Aaron Lewicki (Men's Ice Hockey)
2007-08 - No recipient
2006-07 - Mark Bomersback (Men's Ice Hockey)

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