Former New Mexico golfer Jodi Ewart and former TCU football player Jerry Hughes were named recently as the recipients of the inaugural Mountain West Conference Male and Female Athletes of the Year Awards, respectively.
Established by the Mountain West Conference Joint Council in May 2010, the Athlete of the Year Award is bestowed annually to one male and one female student-athlete who have achieved athletic excellence during the past academic year. In addition to superior athletic achievement, criterion for the Athlete of the Year Award requires that nominees be in good academic standing, and demonstrate good character and conduct on and off the playing field.
Ewart posted a school-record 72.12 scoring average over 33 rounds played and recorded five top-five finishes last season en route to being named the 2010 MWC Women's Golfer of the Year. She is the first student-athlete in any Mountain West sport to receive four consecutive player of the year honors. Ewart, who hails from North Yorkshire, England, claimed her third individual Conference title at the 2010 MWC Championship while guiding the Lobos to the team crown. She finished tied for 15th at the 2010 NCAA Championship and captured All-American honors for the third time in her career.
Hughes earned consensus All-American accolades in 2009 after helping TCU to a 12-1 record and Fiesta Bowl appearance last season. The Sugar Land, Texas, native became the first two-time consensus All-American in the 11-year history of the Mountain West Conference. Hughes, selected the MWC Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, anchored the nation's top-ranked defense in 2009, collecting 16.5 tackles for loss, including 11.5 sacks, among a career-high 58 stops last season. Named the 2009 recipient of the Ted Hendricks Award and Lott Trophy, Hughes was also a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award.
Ewart and Hughes each graduated in May after fulfilling their respective degree requirements in four years. Ewart, who received a bachelor's degree in psychology, is currently participating in the Duramed FUTURES Tour. Hughes earned an undergraduate degree in communications and was chosen in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.