Basketball’s Bryson Williams was named the UTEP Male Athlete of the Year and Indoor Track & Field’s Chantoba Bright was chosen the UTEP Female Athlete of the Year, highlighting the 2020 Golden Pick Awards Presented by the Robbins Family.
Women’s Basketball was selected the Team of the Year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacting large gatherings, the second annual Golden Pick Awards were presented virtually through UTEP Athletics’ social media platforms from April 20-May 1.
UTEP head coaches selected MVP’s for their respective sports and submitted nominees for the numerous specialty awards, with UTEP student-athletes voting on the winners.
MVP winners were Bryson Williams (men’s basketball), Katarina Zec (women’s basketball), Steffen Gregory (men’s cheerleading), Karly Sanchez (women’s cheerleading), Titus Cheruiyot (men’s cross country), Linda Cheruiyot (women’s cross country), Gabrielle Contreras (dance), Treyvon Hughes (football), Oskar Ambrosius (men’s golf), Valeria Mendizabal (women’s golf), Jonna Warnken (rifle), Lauren Crenshaw (soccer), Ilena Santos (softball), Chris Torres (sports medicine), football’s McKel Broussard (men’s strength & conditioning), softball’s Pamala Baber (women’s strength & conditioning), Lina Sachica (tennis), Sean Bailey (men’s indoor track & field), Chantoba Bright (women’s indoor track & field), Sean Bailey (men’s outdoor track & field), Winny Koech (women’s outdoor track & field) and Cheyenne Jones (volleyball).
The specialty awards went to indoor track & field’s Karol Koncos (Best Comeback), the softball team (Community Service Award), the women’s golf team (GPA Award), men’s basketball’s Ountae Campbell (Dr. Louis Robbins Award for Academic Excellence), the men’s basketball team’s comeback win over UTSA (Moment of the Year), basketball’s Bryson Williams (Male Newcomer of the Year), basketball’s Katia Gallegos (Female Newcomer of the Year), football’s Reynaldo Flores (Thomas Howard Walk-On Award) and women’s basketball’s Ariona Gill (Unsung Hero).
The Robbins family, including Dede, her sister Rachel, and their parents, Louis and Marie, have been life-long supporters of UTEP Athletics.
Dede has made prior gifts to the track and field program, and continued her commitment to UTEP student-athletes this year by setting up an athletic scholarship fund, and by sponsoring the Golden Pick Awards.
Male Athlete of the Year & Male Newcomer of the Year – Bryson Williams (Men’s Basketball)
Williams was named to the 2020 All-Conference USA first team and the NABC District 11 first team. Williams started all 32 games, ranking third in C-USA in scoring (17.8 ppg) and fifth in rebounding (7.2 rpg). He posted five double-doubles, recorded a trio of 30-plus point games, and was named the C-USA Player of the Week three times. He led the Miners in blocks (29), added 28 steals and shot 81.1 percent from the foul line.
Female Athlete of the Year – Chantoba Bright (Indoor Track & Field)
Bright won gold in the women’s long jump, leaping out to a personal-best 6.22m at the Conference USA Championships, while taking silver in the triple jump. She was named first team All-C-USA in the long jump and second team in the triple jump. Bright won the triple jump at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic and placed first in the long jump at the New Mexico MLK Invitational.
Team of the Year – Women’s Basketball
Picked to finish 12th in Conference USA coming off a nine-win season, the Miners took seventh in the league with an 8-10 record while finishing 16-14 overall. UTEP advanced in the C-USA Tournament with a 95-67 rout of Florida Atlantic before its season came to an abrupt end.
Female Newcomer of the Year – Katia Gallegos (Women’s Basketball)
Gallegos set a UTEP freshman record with 154 assists and earned Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors. She was third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.6 points per game, and topped the squad with 52 steals.
Best Comeback – Karol Koncos (Men’s Indoor Track & Field)
Koncos won the 35-pound weight throw at the Conference USA Championships after having minor knee surgery in the fall.
Unsung Hero – Ariona Gill (Women’s Basketball)
Gill was hurt the entire season. She had a stress reaction and the staff worked hard to make sure it did not become a fracture. Gill averaged 12.0 points (second on the team) and a team-best 8.5 rebounds.
Thomas Howard Walk-On Award – Reynaldo Flores (Football)
The Thomas Howard Walk-On Award is in honor of former UTEP football player Thomas Howard, who passed away in a car accident at the age of 30 in 2013. A native El Pasoan, Flores sports a 3.8 GPA as a Engineering major and was a major contributor at running back and special teams for the Miners. He was placed on scholarship at midyear.
Moment of the Year – Men’s Basketball Comeback Win Over UTSA
The Miners erased a 24-point deficit for a school-record comeback and beat the Roadrunners, 80-77, at the Don Haskins Center.
Community Service Award – Softball
Softball accumulated the most community service hours of all UTEP Athletics teams with 486 – an average of 24 hours per team member.
Dr. Louis Robbins Award for Academic Excellence – Ountae Campbell (Men’s Basketball)
Campbell boasted the top cumulative grade point average of all UTEP senior student-athletes (3.94) and earned a Conference USA Academic Medal for the second year in a row.
Team GPA Award – Women’s Golf
The UTEP women’s golf team posted a cumulative team GPA of 3.48 during the calendar year 2019, tops among all athletics sports programs.