Aug. 23, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
On the eve of the first day of classes for the 2009-10 school year, the Purdue athletics department gathered in Mackey Arena for Boilers Back in Action. The event is the one time that all 18 sports gather together and serves as an introduction to the department for the incoming freshman. It is also a platform to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of teams and individuals from the previous year.
Purdue athletics acknowledged nine teams from the 2008-09 school year for their outstanding efforts not only in competition, but in the classroom, as well.
Eight teams - men's basketball, women's basketball, softball, men's swimming and diving, women's swimming and diving, women's track and field, volleyball and wrestling - were recognized as having 25/85 seasons last year by finishing nationally among the top 25 while maintaining a cumulative grade-point average that met or exceeded expectations over four consecutive semesters, thereby supporting Purdue's goal of reaching an 85 percent graduation rate.
The men's basketball team, under the direction of head coach Matt Painter won its first Big Ten Tournament championship, finished second in the Big Ten regular season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, finishing with a 27-10 record.
Head women's basketball coach Sharon Versyp guided her team to a 25-11 record that included the second NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in three years, a second place finish in both the Big Ten regular season and the Big Ten Tournament and two players - Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton and Danielle Campbell - being taken in the WNBA draft.
Kim Maher led her softball team to a 31-20 record, marking the program's 11th straight 30-win season, while also garnering its second consecutive NCAA Regional berth. The Boilermakers went on to earn two victories during postseason play, another program first.
Dan Ross' men's swimming and diving program finished13th at the NCAA Championships, earning the best finish since 1962. Adam Soldati's divers put together the best season in program history with two NCAA titles (both by David Boudia), five Big Ten championships and 11 All-Americans.
The women's swimming and diving program, led by head coach John Klinge, finished 21st at the NCAA Championships and earned five All-America recognitions.
Jack Warner's women's outdoor track and field program finished tied for 20th at the 2009 NCAA Championships behind Kara Patterson's runner-up finish in the javelin and a fourth place showing in the shot put by Stacey Wannemacher. Both were named All-Americans.
Last season, the Dave Shondell's volleyball team compiled its best overall record since 1985, its best conference record since 1987 and finished the season in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 with a 26-9 record. Stephanie Lynch captured first team All-America honors.
Head coach Scott Hinkel orchestrated a 23rd place finish at the NCAA Championships, the team's highest finish since 2006, and the second time in the last six years the Boilermakers have finished in the top-25. Senior Jake Patacsil was named All-American after finishing in fifth at NCAAs.
The women's swimming and diving program once again was awarded the President's Cup as the program with the highest grade-point average last season, and the women's tennis team earned the Provost Award as the program with the most improved grade-point average from the previous semester.
Numerous student-athletes were singled out in front of their peers on Sunday, as well.
NCAA individual champions Boudia and golfer Maria Hernandez were recognized as the 2009 Purdue Male and Female Athletes of the Year.
The Durham Brothers Leadership Award, established by former football players John and Bull Durham and recognizing student-athletes that have exhibited leadership both on and off the playing field, through their positive attitude, strong work ethic and overall commitment to excellence, was presented to Kyle Adams (football), Jenna Alexander (softball), Robbie Hummel (men's basketball), FahKara Malone (women's basketball), Patrick Rose (men's tennis), Loredana Riverso (soccer), Michelle Sammons (women's tennis) and Stacey Wannemacher (women's track and field).
The Ben Korschot Perseverance Award, named after the former football walkon and given to student-athletes that have demonstrated perseverance by coming to Purdue as walkons and going on to earn scholarships, was presented to Mike Conway (football), Katie Seeger (soccer), Roger Vukobratovich (wrestling) and Mark Wohlford (men's basketball).