Dec. 1, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming Football program announced its 2009 individual awards at its First Annual Awards Banquet, which was held Saturday afternoon, Nov. 28 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Laramie.
In addition to honoring the 2009 senior class, a total of 15 awards were handed out in honor of the top performers on this year's Cowboy Football team.
The Awards Banquet was introduced for the first time by Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen and his coaching staff as a new tradition for Wyoming Football.
Here are this year's honorees:
Coach Paul Roach Team MVP - John Fletcher, Sr., DT, Erie, Colo.
Brent Schieffer Most Inspirational Player - Weston Johnson, Sr., LB, Wray, Colo.
Brian Lee Scholar-Athlete - Jesson Salyards, Sr., TE, Haxtun, Colo.
Gosar Family Walk-On Award - Ian Watts, Fr., K, Philadelphia, Pa.
Gen. Pete Schoomaker Special Forces Award - Austin McCoy, So., P, Winter Haven, Fla. - Luke Ruff, Fr., CB, Castle Rock, Colo.
Iron Man (Top Performer in Strength and Conditioning Program) - Weston Johnson, Sr., LB, Wray, Colo.
Hammer Award (Player With the Most Big Hits in Games) - John Fletcher, Sr., DT, Erie, Colo. - Ghaali Muhammad, Fr., LB, St. Joseph, Mo.
Team Captain Awards - Russ Arnold, Sr., C, Westminster, Colo. - John Fletcher, Sr., DT, Erie, Colo. - Weston Johnson, Sr., LB, Wray, Colo. - Darius Terry, Jr., RB, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Freshman of the Year - Austyn Carta-Samuels, Fr., QB, San Jose, Calif.
Defensive Back of the Year - Chris Prosinski, Jr., FS, Buffalo, Wyo.
Linebacker of the Year - Brian Hendricks, So., LB, Burlington, Colo.
Defensive Lineman of the Year - Mitch Unrein, Sr., DE, Eaton, Colo.
Offensive Back of the Year - Brandon Stewart, So., RB, Evansville, Ind.
Receiver of the Year - David Leonard, Jr., WR, Overland Park, Kan.
Offensive Lineman of the Year - Clayton Kirven, So., OT, Buffalo, Wyo.
***2009 University of Wyoming Football Awards
Descriptions of Who the Individual Awards are Named After***
Coach Paul Roach Most Valuable Player Award
No individual has been involved in more success in the history of University of Wyoming Football than Paul Roach. Roach first served as an assistant coach at Wyoming in the 1960s. He returned to Wyoming in the 1980s and 90s as head coach and athletics director. Roach was part of six of Wyoming's seven Western Athletic Conference Championships in football, and he contributed to six of UW's 11 bowl appearances as an assistant coach, head coach and athletics director. As head coach of the Cowboys from 1987-90, Roach lead the Pokes to WAC titles in 1987 and `88 and bowl appearances in `87, `88 and `90. Both his 1987 and `88 teams posted perfect 8-0 conference records. He was named Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in both 1987 and `88, and was recognized by his peers in the American Football Coaches Association as their Region 5 Coach of the Year both seasons. In 1999, Roach was inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame.
Brent Schieffer Most Inspirational Player Award
As a Wyoming Cowboy, Brent Schieffer was an inspiration to his teammates. An unselfish teammate, Schieffer became the first Cowboy in over a decade to play on both sides of the ball in the same season when he played as both a linebacker and a tight end during his redshirt freshman season of 1991. His sophomore season, he moved to defense full-time, and during his final three seasons as a defensive lineman he was part of one of the finest defenses in University of Wyoming history. A four-year letterwinner in 1991, `92, `93 and `94, he still ranks among the Top 10 in school history in quarterback sacks, with 19. Schieffer's junior season of 1993, he earned Second Team All-Conference honors and helped lead Wyoming to the Western Athletic Conference Championship and a berth in the Copper Bowl in Tucson, Ariz. In the spring of 2009, Schieffer passed away, but he continues to inspire his former teammates, friends and family to this day. In his honor, the Wyoming Football program has named its Most Inspirational Player Award in his name.
Brian Lee Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award
The Brian Lee Scholar-Athlete Award is named after the only Wyoming Cowboy in history to be selected a First Team Academic All-American, for his success in the classroom, and a Consensus All-American, for his performance on the football field. In his senior season of 1997, Lee led the nation in interceptions, with eight, and went on to earn Consensus All-America honors as a free safety. He also excelled in the classroom, being named First Team Academic All-American in `97. As a junior in 1996, Lee helped lead Wyoming to one of its greatest seasons in school history. The `96 Cowboys ended the season ranked No. 22 in the nation in both the Associated Press Media Poll and USA Today Coaches' Poll, and played in the inaugural Western Athletic Conference Football Championship Game. In the fall of 2008, Lee was inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame.
Gosar Family Walk-On Player of the Year Award
For fans of Wyoming Football, the name Gosar carries with it a special sense of pride. That pride comes from watching three members of the Gosar Family from Pinedale, Wyo., begin their college football careers as walk-ons and end their college careers having earned multiple letter awards in football at the University of Wyoming. When you look at the Cowboy lettermen's list, you see the names of Tim Gosar, Gaston Gosar and Pete Gosar. All three brothers walked on to the Wyoming Football program and all three earned letters during their college careers. Tim walked onto the Cowboy Football team, and earned letters in 1983, `84 and `85. Beginning the next season in 1986, Gaston earned his first of three letter awards from 1986-88. Finally, brother Pete earned four varsity letters in four consecutive seasons from 1987-90. The Gosars all embodied the tough, blue-collar work ethic that Wyoming Football is known for. The teams Tim played on in the mid-80s laid the groundwork for the late 80s success that Gaston and Pete enjoyed as they contributed to two Western Athletic Conference Championships in 1987 and `88 and back-to-back Holiday Bowl appearances.
Gen. Pete Schoomaker Special Forces Player of the Year Award
One of the greatest examples of the type of leader that Wyoming Football has developed through the years is retired Gen. Pete Schoomaker of the United States Army. Schoomaker lettered on the Cowboy Football teams in 1966, `67 and `68, and he was a member of Wyoming's 1966 Sun Bowl and 1968 Sugar Bowl teams. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, Schoomaker pursued a career in the Army. His military career spanned 31 years and culminated in him being named the 35th Chief of Staff of the United States Army on Aug. 1 2003. He became the first Army Chief of Staff to be trained in Special Forces and only the second Special Forces trained member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Prior to assuming the role of Army Chief of Staff, Schoomaker's prior assignment was as Commander-in-Chief of the United States Special Operations Command based at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. On Oct. 10, 2008, a portrait of Schoomaker was unveiled in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon as a testament to his achievements while serving in the United States Army.