HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - The Southern Conference announced the recipients of the 2010 Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards Tuesday (June 1). Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards has been named the Bob Waters Male Athlete of the Year while Chattanooga's Shanara Hollinquest has been named the 2010 Southern Conference Female Athlete of the Year. Edwards and Hollinquest will be honored as part of the league's annual Honors Dinner Tuesday night at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Hilton Head Island.
Edwards becomes the seventh different Mountaineer to win the Bob Waters Male Athlete of the Year Award. He became the first player to win the Walter Payton Award (nation's top NCAA Division I FCS player) in back-to-back seasons. A consensus first-team All-American, Edwards was unanimously named the league's Player of the Year in 2009 after guiding the Mountaineers to the FCS semifinals and No. 3 final ranking last season as ASU finished 11-3 (8-0 SoCon). In 2009, Edwards set eight school records and ranked among the nation's top 15 in seven different statistical categories.
The only player in NCAA Division I history to record 10,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards in a career, he finished with 14,753 yards of total offense, second only to Alcorn State's Steve McNair. Edwards is the only player to quarterback his team to four Southern Conference Championships and helped the Mountaineers win back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. He finished his career with 64 school records and 14 different Southern Conference records.
A member of the SoCon academic honor roll and the Dean's List at ASU, Edwards graduated with a bachelor's degree in graphic arts and imaging technology in three and a half years. During his time in Boone, Edwards volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and regularly spoke to young children at a number of local schools and day-care centers.
Hollinquest becomes the third Lady Moc in the last four years to in the Female Athlete of the Year Award and is the sixth different winner from Chattanooga since the award began in 1990. Hollinquest was named the Southern Conference women's basketball Player of the Year in 2010 after also winning the award in 2009, joining Alex Anderson (2007 & 2008) and Damita Bullock (2000 & 2001) as back-to-back winners for UTC.
The Sylacauga, Ala., native was named the SoCon Tournament's Most Outstanding Player and was a three-time recipient of the league's Player of the Month award last season. She posted 17 double-doubles for the Lady Mocs and led the league in scoring (17.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rpg). The Mocs won their 11th straight regular season championship and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament following their SoCon Tournament title.
A psychology major, Hollinquest was a member of the Dean's List at Chattanooga and earned a spot on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll. She volunteered with the Bethel Bible Village, Special Olympics, Readfest, Habitat for Humanity and Nursing Home Olympics.
The Athlete of the Year Awards are selected annually by the Southern Conference athletics directors and a media member representing each conference school. The award recognizes athletic achievement, academic performance and civic involvement. Prior to 1990-91, the award was selected solely by members of the Southern Conference Sports Media Association. Beginning in 1991-92, the men's award was named after the late Bob Waters, who was Western Carolina's head football coach from 1969-88.
ABOUT THE SOUTHERN CONFERENCE
The Southern Conference, in its 89th season of intercollegiate competition, is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and helping build lifelong leaders and role models. The conference has been on the forefront of innovation and originality in developing creative solutions to address issues facing intercollegiate athletics. From establishing the first conference basketball tournament (1921), tackling the issues of freshman eligibility (1922), developing women's championships (1984) to becoming the first conference to install the three-point goal in basketball (1980), the Southern Conference has been a pioneer. The Southern Conference is the nation's fifth-oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association.
The conference currently consists of 12 members in five states throughout the southeast and sponsors 19 varsity sports and championships that produce participants for NCAA Division I Championships.