HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The Southern Conference wrapped up its 2018 spring meetings on Friday. The four-day meetings were attended by the institutional presidents and chancellors, athletic directors, senior woman administrators and faculty athletic representatives, as well as Southern Conference staff. The league’s football and men’s and women’s basketball coaches also held meetings.
In addition, three Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) members – Furman’s Ryan Adams (men’s cross country/track and field), Chattanooga’s Jared Nash (football) and Wofford’s Ross Hammond (football) – attended meetings of the ADs, SWAs and FARs.
Among the business conducted, hosting duties for the 2019 and 2020 indoor track and field championships were awarded to VMI, while the 2019 and 2020 outdoor track and field championships were award to Samford.
In addition, squad list restrictions for the conference tournaments were lifted for volleyball and men’s soccer as requested by those coaches’ groups, and a new four-round bracket was approved for men’s soccer, which will welcome Belmont University as an associate member beginning with the 2018 season.
League administrators also met with ESPN’s Dan Margulis and John Lasker to discuss the network’s new ESPN+ platform and how it will affect the SoCon.
At the Honors Dinner on Tuesday, the SoCon recognized the league’s annual award winners.
Mercer soccer player Will Bagrou was honored as the Bob Waters Male Athlete of the Year for the second straight year, making him the ninth student-athlete in league history to win in consecutive seasons and the first since Davidson’s Stephen Curry in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Mercer women’s basketball player Kahlia Lawrence, the first-ever three-time SoCon Player of the Year in that sport, was recognized as the Female Athlete of the Year.
The Bears’ sweep marked just the second time the same school had claimed both awards in the same season and the first since 1990-91, when ETSU basketball players Keith “Mister” Jennings and Nicole Hopson did so.
The 10 SoCon postgraduate scholarship winners were also recognized, with seven on-hand to be honored.
For the third straight season, ETSU was presented the Commissioner’s Cup for fielding the best men’s programs in the league, while Furman was recognized for winning its third consecutive Germann Cup, which honors the school with the top women’s programs.
The Barrett-Bonner Award, given annually to the school with the highest percentage of its student-athletes on the SoCon Honor Roll, went to Mercer for the third consecutive year, as the Bears had 73 percent of their student-athletes earn the necessary 3.0 GPA for the year. The D.S. McAlister Award, presented annually to the school judged by the league’s administrators and head coaches to have exhibited the highest degree of sportsmanship, went to Wofford for the second straight season and ninth time overall. The award is named after Colonel D.S. McAllister of The Citadel, who served as the conference’s secretary treasurer for 38 years.