BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech University baseball team is the recipient of the 2009-10 Team Sportsmanship Award as announced Wednesday by the Ohio Valley Conference. This marks the first time since the inception of the award in August of 2005 that the baseball program at Tech has received the honor.
Voted on by the student-athletes and coaches of the respective sports, the team awards are bestowed upon the Conference squads deemed to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the OVC and NCAA. Included in the areas for evaluation are the conduct of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators and fans.
“Without sportsmanship there are truly no meaningful victories,” said Beth DeBauche, OVC Commissioner. “The recipients of the OVC Team Sportsmanship awards should accept this award with great pride for their fellow competitors have made it clear their teams exemplify the best in intercollegiate athletics. In receiving this prestigious honor other competitors are saying these student-athletes compete with class, respect their opponents and value fair play. That is quite a compliment as those are all traits that will lead to true victories throughout the course of life.”
While this is a first-time award for the Golden Eagles baseball program, it is the fourth sportsmanship award given to a TTU program in the 2009-2010 season alone. The women’s soccer, golf and outdoor track teams also received the award this year.
"I congratulate Coach Bragga and his student-athletes for earning the OVC Sportsmanship Award while also winning the OVC Regular Season Championship,” said Director of Athletics Mark Wilson. “The members of all four of our honored teams represent Tennessee Tech so well, and we are proud of the accomplishments that they have earned while exhibiting exemplary sportsmanship."
After starting the OVC season 0-5, Tennessee Tech reeled off 11 straight conference victories on its way to its seventh OVC regular season championship and first since the 1997 season. The Golden Eagles, who won 14 of its final 15 conference games during the year, also won 30 games overall for the third-straight season, the first time that had happened in school history.
“This is fantastic, I definitely want to thank the coaches of the Ohio Valley Conference for voting for us because we sure appreciate it, but I think that it’s just a tribute to our young men,” said TTU head coach Matt Bragga. “We have a great team of young men that try to do things the right way. There are a lot of our teams in our league that could have won this award, so it’s an honor to have received it.”