2016-17 RRAC Sportsmanship Awards
Overall Sportsmanship: St. Thomas (Texas)
Men's Sports: St. Thomas (Texas)
Women's Sports: St. Thomas (Texas)
The University of St. Thomas collects sportsmanship awards like Tom Brady collects Super Bowl rings, only more frequently. The Celts athletic program has been recognized as the 2016-17 RRAC Sportsmanship Award winner, receiving the recognition for the character of their program for the fifth consecutive year.
The RRAC Sportsmanship Award is given annually to the member institution that displayed the highest level of sportsmanship throughout their athletic program 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 other member schools.
"St. Thomas, in my experience, has always played the right way," says University of Houston-Victoria Athletic Director Ashley Walyuchow. "We have never experienced any issues either on the field or off against UST. Players, coaches and admistrators always treat us with the utmost respect. In competition, they model the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character program.
St. Thomas also made it a clean sweep of the conference's sportsmanship awards again, voted as the best in men's sports and separately in women's sports in addition to the overall trophy. All three awards are determined by RRAC athletic directors.
UST's commitment is unwavering to perform with character across the program's sports, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, and men's and women's golf. In November, the Celts played as accommodating hosts to the 2016 RRAC Men's and Women's Soccer Championships at Houston SportsPark, and they will host the RRAC Volleyball Championship in 2017.
"Since restarting athletics in 2006, we have worked very hard to positively represent the Uniersity of St. Thomas in the classroom, on our campus and in competition," explains UST Athletic Director Todd Smith. "During this same time period, it has been a pleasure to work with and compete in the RRAC. I truly believe the RRAC is more competitive nationally and more unified than any time in recent history. It is an honor for our coaches, student-athletes and administration to be recognized with this award."