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Big 12 Announces 2008-09 Athletes of the Year
July 31, 2009

Destinee Hooker (Texas volleyball, track and field) and Sam Bradford (Oklahoma football) have been named 2008-09 Big 12 Conference Athletes of the Year, the league office announced.

Nominees are submitted by each Big 12 institution and selected by a media panel based on 2008-09 athletic performance, academic achievement and citizenship. A new element was added to the selection process this year in which fans were able to cast their votes at Fan voting was included in the final tally for selecting the awards.

Hooker excelled in volleyball as well as indoor and outdoor track and field during her junior season as a Longhorn, leading all three programs to top five NCAA Championship finishes. She was a Honda Award finalist for volleyball, named to the AVCA All-America First Team and the All-Big 12 First Team. The outside hitter helped lead UT to the NCAA Championship semifinals where she was named to the All-Tournament Team after earning all-tournament honors the previous week at the NCAA Austin Regional.

Hooker was the 2009 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor high jump champion, the first athlete since 2004 to capture both titles in the same year. She also won both events at the Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor Championships in addition to the NCAA Midwest Regional. The San Antonio, Texas, native was an indoor and outdoor All-America as well as USTFCCCA Division I Indoor Female Field Athlete of the Year. In addition to her multiple sports, Hooker spent time working with Austin youth at Marathon Kids, O’Henry Middle School and Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center and the Austin Association for Physical Education and Recreation.

Bradford won the 2008 Heisman Trophy as a redshirt sophomore quarterback on the Oklahoma football team. He also captured the Davey O’Brien, Sammy Baugh and Chick Harley awards. The Consensus All-America was the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and named to the All-Big 12 First Team while leading the Sooners to the Big 12 Championship and BCS National Championship Game. Bradford was ranked No. 1 nationally with 50 touchdown passes and a 180.84 passing efficiency. He set the NCAA record for touchdown passes thrown as a sophomore and freshman with 86. Last season he was 328-of-483 passing for a 67.9 percent completion rate with only eight interceptions. Bradford declined the opportunity to declare for the NFL draft, opting to return to school for his junior athletic season.

The finance major has failed to make an A in just two classes in his three-year collegiate academic career with Bs in those two subjects. Bradford was a 2008 CoSIDA Academic All-American and named Academic All-Big 12 in 2007 and 2008. A native of Oklahoma City, Bradford was the 2009 March of Dimes Oklahoma Headliner of the Year. He is active on campus in both FCA and Sooner Spectators, a program that brings patients from a children’s hospital to the OU campus for a behind-the-scenes day with a team followed by a home competition.

Other female candidates were Brette Regan (Baylor softball), Jenny Barringer (Colorado cross country, indoor and outdoor track), Kaylee Manns (Iowa State volleyball), Danielle McCray (Kansas women’s basketball), Shalee Lehning (Kansas State women’s basketball), Sarah Shire (Missouri gymnastics), Jordan Larson (Nebraska volleyball), Courtney Paris (Oklahoma women’s basketball), Caroline Hedwall (Oklahoma State women’s golf), Porscha Lucas (Texas A&M indoor and outdoor track and field) and Sally Kipyego (Texas Tech cross country and indoor track). 

Male nominees included Jason Smith (Baylor football), Derek Tolan (Colorado men’s golf), Jake Varner (Iowa State wrestling), Tony Thompson (Kansas baseball), Scott Sellers (Kansas State indoor and outdoor track), Mark Ellis (Missouri wrestling); Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska wrestling), German Fernandez (Oklahoma State cross country, indoor and outdoor track), Colt McCoy (Texas football), Gerald Phiri (Texas A&M indoor and outdoor track) and Graham Harrell (Texas Tech football).        

Year Female Male
2008-09 Destinee Hooker, Texas Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
2007-08 Sarah Pavan, Nebraska Chase Daniel, Missouri
2006-07 Sarah Pavan, Nebraska Ben Askren, Missouri
2005-06 Cat Osterman, Texas Vince Young, Texas
2004-05 Cat Osterman, Texas Derrick Johnson, Texas
2003-04 Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State Jason White, Oklahoma
2002-03 Cat Osterman, Texas Nick Collison, Kansas
2001-02 Stacey Dales-Schuman, Oklahoma Cael Sanderson, Iowa State
2000-01 Greichaly Cepero, Nebraska Josh Heupel, Oklahoma
1999-00 Erin Aldrich, Texas Charles Howell, Oklahoma State
1998-99 Suziann Reid, Texas Ricky Williams, Texas
1997-99 Vera Ilyina, Texas Grant Wistrom, Nebraska
1996-97 Nanceen Perry, Texas Jacque Vaughn, Kansas
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