Kylie Doniak (Texas) and Robert Griffin III (Baylor) have been named the 2011-12 Big 12 Sportspersons of the Year, the Conference announced. Doniak was a senior on the UT soccer squad, while Griffin III competed on the BU football team.
The Sportsperson of the Year Awards were started in 2000-01 to annually recognize student-athletes who displayed an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship and/or community service during the academic year. This year's winners were selected by a media panel. The Big 12's recipients are also nominated for the NCAA Sportsmanship Award.
Doniak completed her four-year career last fall by leading the Longhorns in scoring. She earned a spot on the Academic All-Big 12 First Team three times and was an active participant in UT Athletics' community service projects.
However, Doniak's true character was revealed after a February 3, 2012 auto-pedestrian accident in downtown Austin that nearly claimed her life. She suffered major internal injuries with an initial diagnoses that she would be lucky to survive. But true to her competitive nature, Doniak fought the battle for her life. The Chino Hills, Calif.-native spent weeks in intensive care in an Austin hospital. She improved enough to be transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Southern California and was eventually able to move to her parents' home in Chino on April 18, where she continues her long recovery.
Doniak's accident and fight for survival has brought her teammates together and much of the soccer community, including players and coaches from high schools, club teams and colleges from around the nation.
The first Heisman trophy winner in Baylor history, Griffin III became not only the face of the Bears' football program, but an ambassador of the entire university during his four years in Waco. Since his 2008 arrival on campus, the quarterback has given freely of his time to the city and Central Texas area. He was a 2011 American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team member and a finalist for the 2010 Arthur Ashe Award.
Griffin III was also a Special Olympics volunteer and served at Friends for Life, a daycare for mentally-challenged individuals. He has also volunteer and spoke at many local schools. Other community service projects include Santa's Workshop, Food for Families and greeting new students for the Baylor admissions office during the annual on-campus celebration of Dia del Oso.
The two-time Academic All-District VI selection and two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree was an eight-time member of the Commissioner's Honor Roll. He was named to the Dean's List three times while earning his bachelor's degree in just three years. Griffin III has also nearly completed a master's degree in communications.
|Sportspersons of the Year|
|2011-12||Kylie Doniak, Texas Soccer (Female)
Robert Griffin III, Baylor Football (Male)
|2010-11||Melissa Jones, Baylor Basketball (Female)
Sam Acho, Texas Football (Male)
|2008-09||Hollie Vise, Oklahoma Gymnastics (Female)
Darrell Stuckey, Kansas Football (Male)
|2008-09||Ashley Paris, Oklahoma Basketball (Female)
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma Basketball (Male)
|2007-08||Katie Martincich, Kansas Volleyball (Female)
Mamadou Diene, Baylor Basketball (Male)
|2006-07||Amanda Costner, Kansas Golf (Female)
Carl Pendleton, Oklahoma Football (Male)
|2005-06||Jodie Heinicka, Missouri Gymnastics (Female)
Parker Dalton, Texas A&M Baseball (Male)
|2004-05||Richelle Simpson, Nebraska Gymnastics (Female)
Ahmard Hall, Texas Football (Male)
|2003-04||Jessika Stratton, Baylor Basketball (Female)
Mark Clayton, Lynn McGruder, Oklahoma Football (Male)
|2002-03||Laura Pilakowski, Nebraska Volleyball (Female)
Jeff Leise, Nebraska Baseball (Male)
|2001-02||Natalie Ritchie, Texas Tech Basketball (Female)
Cael Sanderson, Iowa State Wrestling (Male)
|2000-01||Kim Woodlee, Kansas State Basketball (Female)
Dan Alexander, Nebraska Football (Male)