CMU Captures Reese, Sportsmanship Honors

MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher and CMU President Dr. George Ross
May 27, 2015 Andy Sneddon,

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Central Michigan Athletic Department walked away with two major awards Wednesday from the Mid-American Conference Honors Dinner Ceremony at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.

CMU earned the Reese Trophy as the conference's top men's athletic program for the 2014-15 academic year, and it captured the Institutional Sportsmanship Award for the first time.

Central Michigan Associate Vice President/Athletics Director Dave Heeke accepted the awards on behalf of the university from MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher.

"It's certainly an illustration of the outstanding work and leadership by our coaches and the exemplary student-athletes that we have," said Heeke of the Reese Trophy. "It's not easy in the competitive environment to come out on top, and it's a credit to our programs and their success and the leadership of our head coaches."

The Institutional Sportsmanship Award goes to the university that exemplifies the core values of the conference mission statement. Each institution received a vote.

"Major aspects of our championship culture are principles, integrity and high standards, and living up to those standards in our program," Heeke said. "While we compete incredibly hard, we never lose sight of what it means to uphold those values and exhibit class and exemplary sportsmanship.

"That's a credit to our student-athletes, to our coaches, and to our staff who all believe in those principles. It is fundamental to our championship culture, and who we are as a university community.

"I'm very proud of our student-athletes and staff. And what an honor it is to be voted by your peers as worthy of that award. It's quite an honor."

It is the third time CMU has won the Reese Trophy. The others came in 2001 and 2007.

Headlining the year for the Chippewa men were the basketball and baseball teams, both of which won regular-season MAC championships and earned the top seed in each of their respective league tournaments.

The Chippewa women placed sixth in the Jacoby Standings after finishing second in the previous four years. Eastern Michigan won the trophy for the first time.

MAC universities are awarded a point total based on their finish in the standings in each sport. A school's point total is then divided by the number of sports in which it competes, for an average number. The Reese and Jacoby standings are based on those point averages.

The Chippewas compete in six men's sports. CMU finished the year with an 8.332 average. Runner-up Western Michigan had 8.10.

The men's trophy is named for former MAC Commissioner David E. Reese. Reese was the first MAC Commissioner and served the conference from its inception in 1946 until 1964.

The women's trophy is named for former MAC Commissioner Fred Jacoby. Jacoby was the MAC Commissioner from 1971-82 and is credited with incorporating women's athletics into the conference structure.
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