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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Annual Athletics Award Ceremony

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Anecdotes abounded, laughter filled the air, and even some tears were shed.

The Athletic Department said good-bye and thanks to its senior athletes and handed out a number of awards to exceptional student/athletes at the Annual Athletics banquet held in the Clark Athletic Center’s Creative Room. The banquet culminates a year where success could not necessarily be measured by wins and losses.

The banquet had been originally scheduled to conclude some time before 7pm so Athletic department personnel and student-athletes could attend a Dorchester neighborhood meeting regarding the issue of dorms on campus. That meeting was subsequently canceled due to Governor Mitt Romney’s recent rescind of state issued bonds that would have funded the dorm project.

Titus took the time to congratulate current athletics personnel Chris Fitzgerald and Myles Berry, who has each assumed additional duties. Fitzgerald, the Beacon Fitness Center director, will head the UMB cross country team and Berry, longtime successful coach of the men’s lacrosse team, will take over Noel Cotterell as the head coach of the men’s soccer. Both Fitzgerald and Berry will remain in their current positions as well.

Although few UMB teams had successful teams in terms of wins and losses, Titus wanted to emphasize the overall youth and inexperience that many UMB teams have, both players and coaching staffs. “The key,” he said, ” is retention and continuity. If we can do that, then we’re on our way to better things.”

Titus believes that the Athletic Department has no bigger supporter on campus than Chancellor Gora. Often times, chancellors/university presidents and athletic directors do not see eye to eye on many issues. Titus and Gora He thanked her for her continued support and commitment to making UMB Athletics the best that it can be. “[Gora] is a dynamic leader who has a clear vision for this university.”

Coaches were then invited up to the podium one by one to hand out awards to seniors and team MVPs. Each coach had plenty of praise for his/her players and the commitment that they displayed during their time at UMB. Several coaches credited their players for helping them make it through some tough times and showing what perseverance is all about. Department awards then followed. (For a full list of Department Award winners, see page 19.)

The evening concluded in surprising fashion. After the last scheduled award was handed out, Master of Ceremonies Alan Wickstrom, the director of Sports Media Realtions, announced that he felt a special recognition and award should be given to men’s ice hockey player Dana Marek, a 47 year-old father and graduating senior. “I know he wouldn’t want to take away an award from another player,” said Wickstrom, “so we created a special one just for him.” Marek’s story has been told nationally on such venues as ESPN, Good Morning America, and a number of print publications. Marek received a standing ovation from the audience as he was presented with the award.