| Celts Earn Top RRAC Sportsmanship Awards |
For the second consecutive year, the University of St. Thomas garnered the respect of its fellow conference schools and was named the recipient of the 2013-14 Red River Athletic Conference Sportsmanship Award. RRAC athletic directors selected UST based on the way its coaches, players and administration represented the school on and off the field during the most recent academic year.
UST also earned special recognition with additional Sportsmanship Awards for its men’s teams and women’s teams, making it a clean sweep of all three honors for the Celts this year.
Athletic Director Todd Smith supervises seven sports programs as the top administrator at UST. He said those involved with athletics should enjoy competing, but there’s more to a game than that.
“I like to win; it is fun and better than the alternative,” Smith said. “However, I am extremely proud of the fact that we have quality coaches, administrators and student athletes who exhibit a high level of sportsmanship on and off the courts, courses and fields.
Smith said it is their goal to represent the University of St. Thomas with the highest of integrity and class.
“We are an extension of this great university,” he said. “We are about graduating champions of faith and character.”
Our Lady of the Lake University Athletic Director Jack Hank, who is a former St. Thomas vice president for Student Affairs, was one of the RRAC directors who voted and praised the UST program.
“St. Thomas optimizes what the RRAC Sportsmanship Award is all about,” Hank said. “Their student-athletes reflect the NAIA Champions of Character program and display those values with their performances on the courts and fields.
“When you play against St. Thomas you are not only assured of good competition but students who understand what sportsmanship means and how they represent themselves and their university, whether it be a win or a loss. Kudos to Todd and his coaching staff.”
The RRAC Sportsmanship Award is given annually to the RRAC member institution that displayed the highest level of sportsmanship 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.
Smith will be presented with the awards at the RRAC’s fall meetings in Dallas.