***Indicates Winners as chosen by department coaches and staff
Football (11-3, 7-1 Big Sky) . . . The Eagles won the outright Big Sky Conference title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship Subdivision Playoffs. Included in EWU’s victories was a sweep for a second-straight year of Montana and Montana State.
***M. Basketball (26-9, 14-4 Big Sky) . . . Eastern advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history after winning the Big Sky Conference tournament title with a championship game comeback against Montana. The Eagles finished with 26 victories overall and 14 Big Sky wins – the most in 32 seasons as a member of NCAA Division I.
W. Basketball (21-12, 12-6 Big Sky) . . . EWU tied the Division I program record with 21 wins in a season and recorded its first-ever postseason win as a DI member, topping Washington State in the first round of the WNIT. The Eagles saw all five starters earn awards from the Big Sky, including first team selection Hayley Hodgins and Outstanding Freshman Delaney Hodgins.
W. Indoor Track & Field (4th at BSC Championships) . . . The women's team earned the best finish in school history as the Eagles scored a school-record 68 points and tied for fourth place. The Eagles had a Big Sky champion in high jumper Tierra White, and six other top-three finishes.
Jordan Arakawa (Track & Field) . . . The senior won Big Sky Conference titles in the hammer throw outdoors and the weight throw indoors. He was selected as the Most Outstanding Performer at the outdoor meet hosted by EWU after throwing a season-best 218-1.
***Tyler Harvey (Basketball) . . . Harvey earned honorable mention All-America honors after leading NCAA Division I with per game averages of 23 points and four 3-pointers made. Also a first team Academic All-America selection, he set the Big Sky Conference record with 128 3-pointers made and broke the school record with 738 points.
Cooper Kupp (Football) . . . After catching a school-record 104 passes, Kupp was a unanimous All-America selection for the second-straight year and was also chosen for prestigious second team Academic All-America honors. His catch total ranks second in Big Sky history, and he added 16 touchdown receptions and one on a punt return to give him 38 total touchdowns thus far in his two-year career.
Jake Rodgers (Football) . . . Named by five different organizations as a first team All-America selection in 2015, Rodgers capped his two-year career as an Eagle by being drafted in the seventh round by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL Draft. The offensive tackle from Spokane played in the NFL Players Association All-Star game.
Hayley Hodgins (W. Basketball) . . . Hayley Hodgins earned first team All-Big Sky honors and was named to the Big Sky All-Tournament team following an outstanding junior campaign. She poured in 538 points, tied for third all-time in a season, and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in her career.
Morena Mannucci (Track & Field) . . . In the final Big Sky Championship of her career, Mannucci won the women's triple jump with a new school record of 41-1 3/4 at the outdoor meet at EWU’s Roos Field. She also set the school record in the triple jump indoors with a mark of 39-5 3/4 to place third overall and earn all-league honors.
***Sarah Reiter (Cross Country/Track & Field) . . . After winning the Eastern’s first-ever Big Sky Conference individual title in cross country, Reiter had an all-conference performance on the track as well. She finished second in the 10,000 meters at the outdoor championships with a time of 36:16.55.
Chloe Williams (Soccer) . . . After producing six goals and four assists, Williams earned first team All-Big Sky honors. Starting in all seventeen games as a true freshman, Williams also earned a Big Sky Player of the Week Award after scoring two back-to-back game-winning goals against Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR/MALE
***Bogdan Bliznyuk (Basketball) . . . Bliznyuk was the Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year after averaging 8.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in his debut season as an Eagle. However, the native of the Ukraine was particularly impressive in Big Sky games, making 58 percent of his shots to rank fifth in the league, with averages of 12.0 points and 5.6 rebounds to rank in the top 25 among all players in the league.
Victor Gamboa (Football) . . . Gamboa had 57 tackles, three interceptions and six passes broken up as a freshman cornerback to earn honorable mention All-Big Sky honors. He earned national accolades for his performance against Southern Utah when he had a pair of interceptions and seven tackles.
Nic Sblendorio (Football) . . . On a team filled with veteran wide receivers, Sblendorio had 23 catches for 311 yards and a touchdown in his debut season as an Eagle. His touchdown was an incredible one-handed, 32-yard reception in a 36-26 regular season win over Montana, ranking No. 2 on ESPN’s Plays of the Day on Nov. 8.
Jeremy Van Assche (Track Field) . . . VanAssche capped a record-breaking debut outdoor season by placing fourth in the 100 meters (10.69) and sixth in the 200 (22.02) at the Big Sky Outdoor Championships at Roos Field. Earlier in the season he broke the school record with a time of 10.42, which was the top non wind-aided mark in the league in 2015.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR/FEMALE
***Delaney Hodgins (Basketball) . . . Hodgins was named the Big Sky’s Outstanding Freshman after averaging 10.5 points and 4.7 rebounds in her first season in Cheney. She finished the year shooting 46.9 percent from the field, good for second on the team, while racking up 50 steals, 62 assists and a team-best 45 blocked shots.
Janaya Smith (Tennis) . . . Smith closed out her freshman year emphatically, winning six of her last seven matches at No. 1 singles to finish 12-9. Her solid outing in her inaugural season resulted in second team All-Big Sky honors and Big Sky Player of the Week honors.
Tierra White (Track & Field) . . . White shocked the conference when she won the high jump at the Big Sky Indoor Championships with a personal best mark of 5-7 3/4 to rank fourth all-time at Eastern. She followed that with a fourth-place finish at the outdoor meet hosted by Eastern.
Chloe Williams (Soccer) . . . Starting in all 17 games for EWU, Williams had six goals and four assists for a total of 16 points scored. Her solid performance resulted in first team All-Big Sky honors.
COACH OF THE YEAR (ALL NOMINATED)
Chad Bodnar (Soccer) . . . In his first season as a head coach, Bodnar revamped Eastern’s soccer program in 2015. He led the Eagles to a record of 8-9 and its first Big Sky Tournament appearance since 2009, while recording the most conference wins in program history with five.
***Jim Hayford (M. Basketball) . . . In leading Eastern to its most victories in 32 seasons as a member of NCAA Division I, Hayford was chosen as the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year. He guided the Eagles to 18 school records featuring the third-best offense in America with an average of more than 80 points per game.
Marcia Mecklenburg (W. Track & Field) . . . The women's team earned the best finish in school history at the Big Sky Indoor Championships with a fourth-place finish and a school-record 68 points, followed by fifth at the outdoor meet at Roos Field. The Eagles had a Big Sky champion and six other top-three finishes indoors, then had a pair of titlists and four more all-league performances outdoors.
Wendy Schuller (W. Basketball) . . . Schuller won a record 21 games in her 14th season in charge of the Eagles’ women’s basketball program, tying the program’s all-time NCAA Division I record for victories in a season. She led EWU to its first-ever DI postseason win, topping Washington State in the first round of the WNIT, and also recorded victories over SEC member Florida and Missouri Valley regular season and tournament champion Wichita State.
SAAC TRIPLE THREAT CITIZEN
Cooper Kupp (Football) . . . Was one of three Social Media Ambassadors for EWU this year. He had the rare achievement of earning NCAA Football Championship All-America honors as well as Academic All-America honors in the same year. He carries a 3.51 GPA as an economics major.
Corey McLean (Track & Field) . . . A member of SAAC, he attended the Apple Conference and the Big Sky Health and Wellness Symposium during the school year. He also read to elementary students on Dr. Seuss Day and was a volunteer at the Big Sky Track and Field Championships. Injured and unable to compete this year, he carries a 3.24 GPA as an electrical engineering major.
Caitlin Rice (Golf) . . . Rice participated in the Polar Plunge fundraiser and was volunteered with Special Olympics, and also presented a plan for the Toiletry Drive to the Spokane Hotel Association. A member of SAAC, she had a 75.0 average in 10 rounds this season, with a low round of 79. She carries a 3.18 GPA as a therapeutic recreation major.
***Melissa Williams (W. Basketball) . . . Williams spent the year as the SAAC President, and was also one of three Social Media Ambassadors for the athletic department. She was the organizer for the Toiletry Drive fundraiser, and participated in the Penny Drive for the Guild School. She also was a leader in on-campus student-athlete meal plan discussions. On the court, she was a second team All-Big Sky selection and had 12 double-doubles in helping EWU to a NCAA Division I best 21 victories. She carries a 3.77 GPA as a biology major, and earned four Big Sky All-Academic honors in her career.
***Jordan Arakawa (Track & Field) . . . Arakawa won three Big Sky Conference titles in his Eastern career, including two indoors in the weight throw and in 2015 in the hammer throw when he earned Most Outstanding Performer honors at the Big Sky Championships at EWU. In all, he earned All-Big Sky honors six times, with three runner-up finishes to go along with his three titles.
Ronnie Hamlin (Football) . . . Hamlin set the Big Sky Conference and school records for career tackles, finishing with 473 in his school-record 53-game career. He also had five interceptions and three sacks as a three-time Eagle All-America selection.
Parker Kelly (Basketball) . . . Kelly finished as the top three-point shooter in school history not named Tyler Harvey, finishing with 210 treys made. He set the school record for career games with 126, and became the 19th player in EWU history to score more than 1,000 points.
Jake Miller (Football) . . . Miller finished his career with three school records for punting, including a 44.9 average in 2014. His 43.8 average in his career was also a school record, and ranked fifth all-time in the history of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
Cassie Black (Soccer) . . . After her four years at EWU, she holds a total of seven offensive records. She finished with records of 24 goals scored, 55 points, 168 shots, and nine game-winning goals in 68 games as an Eagle, and also has seven assists.
Emma Murillo (Track & Field) . . . Murillo won a pair of Big Sky titles in the javelin, and capped her career by setting a school record in the discus with a mark of 169-0 as a senior. In all, she earned All-Big Sky honors five times – two as champion, once as runner-up and twice as a third-place finisher.
***Lexie Nelson (W. Basketball) . . . A three-time All-Big Sky honoree, Nelson set a pair of school record after finishing fourth all-time with 1,388 career points and third with a 14.6 average per game. She sits atop Eastern’s career made three-pointers list with 204 made triples and her 38.8-percent clip from long range ranks second all-time. She also has the best free throw percentage on EWU’s all-time list, shooting 85.4 percent from the line while making 322 career free throws, good for third all-time.
Melissa Williams (W. Basketball) . . . Williams finished her career tied atop the Eagles’ NCAA Division I career games played list with 122 total appearances in an EWU uniform. She ranks second all-time with 832 rebounds while her career average of 6.8 boards per game ranks sixth. She also ranks eighth all-time with 86 blocked shots and is tied for 10th all-time with 128 career steals.
DR. RODOLFO AREVALO EAGLE AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP & EXCELLENCE
***Emma Murillo (Track & Field) . . . A two-time Big Sky javelin champion and school record holder in the discus, Emma Murillo will end her career with eight Big Sky All-Academic honors. She capped her career by successfully defending her Big Sky Conference title in the javelin, and also set a school record in the discus in 2015. In her career, she earned All-Big Sky honors five times – two as champion, once as runner-up and twice as a third-place finisher. She is from Kennewick and is a 2010 graduate of Southridge High School. She has a 3.58 grade point average and is majoring in Spanish Education.
BEST DRESSED AWARD
***Mitch Fettig – (Football)