Sports: Sanders, McCann drafted to NFL, plus end-of-year honors

NFL draft

Sports: Sanders, McCann drafted to NFL, plus end-of-year honors

Bryan McCannEmmanuel SandersSenior wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (near right) and senior cornerback/kick return specialist Bryan McCann (far right) have been selected in the 2010 National Football League draft. Sanders, an All-Conference USA first-team pick, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 3rd round – the highest level at which an SMU player has been selected since 1987. McCann, the active C-USA leader in career interceptions, will suit up for the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. Read more about Sanders and McCann.

Thirty-four SMU student-athletes earned the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal during the 2009-10 academic year, Commissioner Britton Banowsky has announced. The Mustangs are among 420 medal winners leaguewide, each of whom have achieved a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.75 or better. The full list of winners (PDF format).

In addition, 183 SMU student-athletes earned recognition in the Commissioner’s Honor Roll during the 2009-10 academic year. The 183 Mustangs are among 2,027 total recipients, each of whom maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.00 or better. The full list of honor roll members (PDF format).

SMU rower Catherine CampbellSenior Catherine Campbell (left) is one of 18 collegiate rowers who have been invited to participate in the 2010 USRowing Women’s National Team Pre-Elite Camp, taking place June 6-July 18 at the Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia. The camp focuses on developing athletes for the Under-23 and Senior National Teams. Participating athletes will have the opportunity to race at the Independence Day Regatta, USRowing Club National Championships and possibly at USRowing Under-23 Trials and USRowing Elite National Championships. Read more.

Senior guard Brittany Gilliam has received a training camp contract from the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock. The 2009-10 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Conference selection finished the season with a league-leading 80 steals and averaging 14.7 points per game. She also posted a team-high 5 double-doubles and scored more than 20 points per game 6 times. Read more.

Get Kidz Fit Fest posterNearly 40 Mustang student-athletes took part in the Dallas Area Coalition to Prevent Childhood Obesity’s Get Kidz Fit Fest 2010 on April 24 at Fair Park. The free event showcased simple and fun ways families can incorporate physical activity and nutritious eating into day-to-day life, including healthy cooking demonstrations and sports and fitness activities. More than 3,000 children attended. Read more.

Houston City Council Member Oliver Pennington and Houston Mayor Annise Parker will honor former Mustang receiver Jerry LeVias (’69) on May 4, 2010, with an official proclamation declaring it “Jerry LeVias Day” in Houston. The honor recognizes LeVias’ work “on behalf of children throughout the state,” Pennington says. LeVias serves as community outreach director for Boys and Girls Harbor in La Porte, Texas, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive care for children and families in crisis.

LeVias entered SMU in 1965 as the first African-American to receive an athletic scholarship in the Southwest Conference. He made both athletic and academic All-American football teams and led the Mustangs to their first conference title in 18 years. After earning his B.S. degree from SMU in 1969, he played professional football for the Houston Oilers and San Diego Chargers. He received SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006. Read more.

April 30, 2010|Sports|

Hot Links: Special-teams coach Frank Gansz dies at age 70

Frank GanszSMU Assistant Coach Frank Gansz passed away on April 27, 2009. He was 70. Considered perhaps the top special-teams coach in NFL history, he was starting his second season on the Hilltop.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my good friend,” said SMU Head Coach June Jones. “Frank has been a second father to me for the past 30 years and he has touched the lives of many, both at SMU and throughout the National Football League. I was lucky to have known Frank, and not only was he a wonderful person, but he was a father to everyone he has ever coached. He will live on with us.”

Gansz was a veteran of 38 seasons of coaching, 24 in the NFL and 14 in the collegiate ranks. “He was the guru of special teams,” former Kansas City Chiefs Vice President Lynn Stiles told the Kansas City Star. Gansz coached for the Chiefs throughout the 1980s and was special-teams coach for the St. Louis Rams during their Super Bowl-winning season in 1999. Read more.

Lauren Longbotham MeisnerThe No. 23 women’s tennis team will face No. 38 Texas A&M in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Championships at 11 a.m. May 9 at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco. The Mustangs received an automatic bid for winning the Conference USA title. Head Coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner (left) was named Conference USA Coach of the Year after leading SMU to its best season in program history First-year player Marta Lesniak was named Freshman of the Year and C-USA Singles Player of the Championship, as well as Outstanding Doubles Team of the Championship with freshman partner Aleksandra Malyarchikova. Read more.

Men’s golf team members Kelly Kraft and James Kwon have been selected as All-Conference USA performers for the 2008-09 season. Kraft was named to the first team for the second consecutive year, while Kwon was selected for the second team and the All-Freshman squad. The awards were voted on by the league’s 11 head coaches. Read more.

SMU punter Thomas MorsteadSenior punter Thomas Morstead (right) was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 5th round of the 2009 NFL Draft April 26. Morstead becomes SMU’s first NFL draft pick since 2007, when Justin Rogers, now with the Dallas Cowboys, was chosen by the New England Patriots. As the 164th overall selection, Morstead is SMU’s highest draft pick since the Saints took SMU linebacker Chris Bordano 161st overall in 1998. Read more.

April 30, 2009|Sports|
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