Thursday, June 27, 2013
Bill O'Brien, Montee Ball win BTN awards
By Adam Rittenberg
Football didn't have as big a presence as other sports during Wednesday's BTN awards, but one coach and one former player were recognized for their efforts last season.
Penn State's Bill O'Brien was named Men's Team Coach of the Year after guiding the Lions to an 8-4 mark in his first season, including wins in eight of the final 10 contests. O'Brien, who led Penn State through a tumultuous offseason that included severe NCAA sanctions, was both the media's and coaches' pick for Big Ten Coach of the Year and also claimed several national coaching awards.
Former Wisconsin running back Montee Ball earned Most Dominating Performance of the Year after rushing for a career-high 247 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries in a dominating win against Purdue. Ball set the Big Ten career touchdowns record in the game, breaking the mark set by former Badgers star Ron Dayne.
There were several other nominees from the Big Ten football ranks, including Ohio State's 12-0 team and Nebraska fan Jack Hoffman, the 7-year-old brain cancer patient who captured national attention with his touchdown run during the Huskers' spring game. Ohio State football lost out to Indiana soccer for Men's Team of the Year, while BTN went with another inspiring story for Most Courageous Performance, that of Purdue women's basketball player Drey Mingo, who survived a bout with bacterial meningitis and also battled back from an ACL tear.
Check out all the BTN award winners here.