2015-16 RRAC Sportsmanship Awards
St. Thomas (Texas)
WACO, Texas – If something recurs each year for four years, it is definitely a trend, probably a dynasty and maybe more. The University of St. Thomas has ensured that sportsmanship and fair play are part of the Celts' athletic DNA. It's visible to all opponents, particularly those in the RRAC. UST's fellow conference members recognized the dedication again, leading to the Celts' selection as the winner of the 2015-16 RRAC Sportsmanship Award, its fourth consecutive trophy.
The RRAC Sportsmanship Award is given annually to the RRAC member institution that displayed the highest level of sportsmanship during the most recent academic year including teamwork, fair play, respect for the game and conduct in competition. The school's sportsmanship must be apparent across multiple sports, on and off the field, and in interaction with fellow member schools.
For the second straight year, UST also won the RRAC's awards for sportsmanship in men's sports and women's sports, making it a clean sweep. Along with other RRAC members, the Celts were also recognized as a Five-Star institution under the NAIA Champions of Character program. That program emphasizes five tenets: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
"We're proud of all of our member schools for their commitment to sportsmanship, and St. Thomas has set lofty standards that are recognized by the entire conference," commented RRAC Commissioner Tony Stigliano. "(UST President) Dr. Robert Ivany, (UST Athletic Director) Todd Smith and the Celts' coaches and student-athletes have done a remarkable job of exemplifying that commitment."
UST played host to the RRAC Soccer Championships at Houston Sports Park for the third straight year, welcoming their competitors and ensuring an even playing field for all. The Celts have been led by Smith since 2008, while competing in men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, and men's and women's golf.
"The University of St. Thomas works hard to instill in our students the core values of our founders; Goodness and Discipline," said Smith. "Earning the RRAC Sportsmanship Award validates that our athletic administrators, coaches and student-athletes represent UST in both goodness and discipline, two pillars of good sportsmanship. We are extremely pleased to know our conference competitors recognize and appreciate our approach to relationships and competition. It takes an entire department to earn this award. I hope our coaches and student-athletes take great pride in being named the 2015-16 RRAC Sportsmanship Award winner."
Smith will be presented with the sportsmanship awards at the RRAC's fall meetings in Dallas.