UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – As the 2014-15 athletic season concludes, Penn State Athletics has selected wrestler Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) and women’s volleyball player Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) as its Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year. Brown and Hancock will be on the ballot for Big Ten Athletes of the Year.
The honors are the latest in a long list of accolades for both athletes and this marks the second straight year that standouts from women’s volleyball and wrestling have been named Penn State’s Student-Athletes of the Year (Deja McClendon and David Taylor in 2013-14).
Brown and Hancock were instrumental in helping Penn State win a combined five NCAA Championships during their superlative careers, with national wrestling titles from 2012-14 and women’s volleyball crowns in 2013 and ’14.
Brown became Penn State’s 24th three-time All-American this past March as he rolled to the 174 pound championship at the NCAA Championships. Brown posted a 29-3 record this past season. He capped off his career with a 5-0 run through the NCAA Championships to claim his first individual crown and leaves Penn State with a 118-16 career record, 12th all-time in wins and 11th all-time in pins with 30. Brown rolled to a 14-1 dual meet record this year, including a perfect 9-0 mark in Big Ten duals. All told, Brown will leave Penn State with 118 wins, 44 dual meet victories, 23 Big Ten dual wins, 30 pins, 11 tech falls, 35 majors and 196 dual meet points. Brown placed first, second and fifth at nationals and was a two-time national finalist for Coach Cael Sanderson. Brown leaves Penn State a member of three NCAA Championship and three Big Ten Championship teams and competed in the NWCA All-Star Classic once and was Penn State’s 2015 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner for wrestling.
Brown was recently named the CoSIDA Men’s At-Large Academic All-American of the Year after earning his second first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honor. A criminology and international studies major, he was also recently honored with a prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship and was Penn State’s male recipient of this year’s Big Ten Post-Graduate Scholarship. He was one of four Nittany Lion wrestlers to earn first team NWCA National All-Academic laurels as well (the third time he has been honored as such). He was also recently named Penn State’s male recipient of the McCoy Award and was also a 2013 first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American. The 2013 Elite 89 Award Winner as the nation’s top wrestling student-athlete, Brown was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree as well.
Hancock, a communications arts and sciences major, closed out a superlative four-year career as one of the most prolific student-athletes in program history. As the starting setter and team captain for Coach Russ Rose, she guided the Nittany Lions to back-to-back NCAA national championship crowns in 2013 and ’14, as well as the team’s 16th Big Ten title in 2013. She highlighted her career with one of the top awards in collegiate volleyball, earning 2014 AVCA DI National Player of the Year honors, to become the fourth Nittany Lion in program history to garner the prestigious honor. A three-time first team AVCA All-America honoree, she also earned AVCA All-Northeast honors in each of the last three seasons. Hancock also earned her third consecutive All-Big Ten selection in 2014, having earned Big Ten Setter of the Year honors from 2012-13.
Hancock earned numerous additional awards in 2014, including five Big Ten Setter of the Week honors, ESPNW Volleyball Player of the Week honors and her second AVCA DI National Player of the Week award. She was also a 2014 ESPN ESPY nominee for “Best Female Collegiate Athlete.” In addition to the honors and recognition, Hancock made an impressive mark on several record books throughout her time in the Blue and White. In 2014, she finished the year ranked first nationally in aces and aces per set. She holds both the Penn State and the Big Ten single season aces record (126), having also moved into sole possession of first place on the NCAA single-season 25-point scoring format aces list. Her 380 career aces also ranks first on the Penn State and Big Ten all-time lists.
Brown and Hancock will be on the ballot for Big Ten Male and Female Athletes of the Year with 26 other nominees. Selected members of the media who regularly cover the conference and its teams will vote for the winners of the awards.
(PENN STATE ATHLETICS)
(PENN STATE ATHLETICS)