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Big 12 Announces 2013-14 Sportspersons of the Year
June 26, 2014

Whitney Canion (Baylor) and Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma) have been selected the 2013-14 Big 12 Sportspersons of the Year, the Conference announced. Canion was a senior on the Lady Bears’ softball team while Ikard concluded his career on the Sooners’ football squad.

The Sportsperson of the Year Awards began in 2000-01 to annually recognize student-athletes who displayed an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship, community service and academic achievement. This year’s winners were selected by a media panel. 

Canion overcame two major season-ending injuries to become the most decorated softball player in Baylor school history. She is the program’s all-time leader in nearly every pitching category, including victories and strikeouts.  Canion became the Bears’ first All-America First Team selection in the circle in 2014 while leading her team to the Women’s College World Series for the second time in her six-year career.

An active member of the Central Texas community, Canion was a semifinalist for the 2014 Wooden Citizenship Cup Award. She served as a past president of the Baylor Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has been a member of the Baylor Sports Management Association the past two years. Her community projects include Harvest Howedown, Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, Mission Waco Walk for the Homeless, Baylor Athletics Canned Food Drive and Panama Mission Trip. Canion has also served with Team USA Softball Camps, Feed My Starving Children, Food for Families and Operation Christmas Child.

The Aledo, Texas native received her undergraduate degree with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management & Marketing. She is scheduled to complete her master’s in Sport Management in August 2014. Canion received the 2014 Big 12 Gerald Lage Award and was a Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team selection. She was named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll 12 times, was a four-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree and a six-time Baylor Dean’s List member.

Oklahoma entered the 2013 season with the naming of a new starting quarterback. As a team captain, starting center and roommate to one of the quarterbacks, Ikard found himself constantly in the middle of the situation. He quickly became the face and voice of the Sooners, setting an example for his teammates of how to handle difficult questions by always supporting each quarterback, his coaches and the decisions that were made throughout the season. Ikard’s leadership helped carry the Sooners to a Sugar Bowl win where due to injuries, he was the only starting offensive lineman to play his regular position in the game. He concluded the season by earning Consensus All-America honors.

Ikard was also a leader in community service activities. He was named 2013 Big Man on Campus, an honor reserved for those who are among the best in academics, campus participation, leadership or community service. Ikard also participated in relief efforts after deadly tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma in May 2013. His civic honors include winning the 2013 Wuerffel Trophy, Selmon Spirit Award and Don Key Award. He was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, William V. Campbell Trophy and Bobby Bowden Award. Ikard also participated in a mission trip to Haiti with the OU football and women’s basketball programs.

The Oklahoma City native earned his bachelor’s degree in May 2013 with a 4.00 grade point average and special distinction honors. Ikard was the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year for football and became the first OU football student-athlete to be named Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America three times. He was selected to the Hampshire Honor Society by the National Football Foundation and received the NFF Scholar-Athlete Award. Ikard was also the Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for football and earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship among other academic achievements.

Sportspersons of the Year
2013-14 Whitney Canion, Baylor Softball (Female)
Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma Football (Male)
2012-13 Whitney Pyle, Kansas State Golf (Female)
Nate Boyer, Texas Football (Male)
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)
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