TAMPA, Fla. (June 25, 2020) – The Sun Conference announced on Thursday 10 of its award winners for the 2019-2020 academic year which included Johnson & Wales (Fla.) women's basketball coach Kymberly Hope, who was recognized as the league's Coach of Character honoree.
The Coach of Character Award is given to a head coach of an NAIA institution who has been outstanding in embracing the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character initiative by deliberately teaching character to his/her student-athletes through sport. Hope, wrapped up her 11th season with the Wildcats guiding JWU to its first Sun Conference title, while pushing her student-athletes in the classroom, producing a GPA over 3.0 for the second-straight season.
"Being named this year's Sun Conference Coach of Character award winner means a lot to me and this program," Hope said. "An award like this is bigger than athletic and bigger than basketball. The most fulfilling satisfaction in coaching comes from, knowing that you have, to the best of your ability, motivated and helped prepare a young person for life after their athletic career."
"Kym loves basketball and uses the game to teach her student-athletes all about character," JWU Director of Athletics Dave Griffore said. "When you watch a JWU women's basketball practice, you see a group of young women extremely focused on not only what the coaches are saying, but also what their teammates are doing during the entire two hours."
The conference also recognized recipients for the Dr. Le Roy Walker Student-Athlete of Character Award, the A. O. Duer Scholarship Award (male and female student-athlete), the Emil S. Liston Award (male and female student-athlete), the Charles Morris Administrator of the Year Award, the Athletic Director of the Year, and the Sports Information Director of the Year.
Five student-athletes, along with one head coach and four administrators (three previously announced), have been put forward by the league for consideration for the respective NAIA National Awards that will be announced in mid-September.
2019-2020 Sun Conference Award Winners
Maria Vega (St. Thomas) – Dr. Le Roy Walker Student-Athlete of Character Award
Jessica Terry (Webber International) – A. O. Duer Scholarship Award (Female)
Yunior Sanchez (Florida Memorial) – A. O. Duer Scholarship Award (Male)
Patricia Martinez-Sanz (St. Thomas) – Emil S. Liston Award (Female)
Hunter Lonadier (Webber International) – Emil S. Liston Award (Male)
Kymberly Hope (Johnson & Wales [Fla.]) – Coach of Character Award
Genia Montford (USCB) – Charles Morris Administrator of the Year Award
Laura Courtley-Todd (St. Thomas) – Athletic Director of the Year
Jon Leatherman (St. Thomas) – Sports Information Director of the Year
Nick Mendez (Ave Maria) – Athletic Trainer of the Year
Follow women's basketball (@JWUWBBallNM) and all of JWU's 11 athletic teams on Twitter (@JWUAthleticsNM), YouTube (JWUAthletics), and Instagram (theWildcatWay).
About JWU Athletics: JWU Athletics is home to more than 150 student-athletes in 11 different sports. Established in 1998, JWU Athletics is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Sun Conference. Athletic events are held the Wildcat Center and the Miami Shores Recreation Complex (9825 NE 7th Ave., Miami Shores, FL 33138).
About JWU: Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with approximately 13,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, Rhode Island; North Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado; and Charlotte, North Carolina. An innovative educational leader, the university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, design and engineering, education, health and wellness, hospitality, nutrition and physician assistant studies. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth. The university's impact is global, with alumni from 125 countries pursuing careers worldwide. For more information, visit jwu.edu.
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