Mountain West Honors 2012-13 Scholar-Athletes of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Former Wyoming football student-athlete Luke Ruff and basketball student-athlete Chaundra Sewell were announced today as the 2012-13 Mountain West Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year, respectively.

Established by the Mountain West Joint Council in 1999, the MW Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award is the highest honor presented to a student-athlete by the Conference. The award is bestowed annually to one male and one female who best exemplify the term "student-athlete" by achieving excellence in academics, athletics and community involvement. In addition to athletic achievement, recipients of the MW Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average, demonstrate leadership, and exhibit good character and conduct on and off the playing field. Each honoree will receive a $2,500 postgraduate scholarship.

Ruff received his undergraduate degree in civil engineering this past May, and immediately embarked on graduate coursework towards a Master's degree in environmental engineering. A four-year letterwinner and 2011 second-team All-MW honoree as a safety on the Cowboys' football squad, Ruff entered the 2012 campaign as a preseason All-MW pick and candidate for the Lott Trophy (national defensive award), but saw his athletic career come to a premature end when he suffered a season-ending injury midway through the fall. One of four team captains in 2012, Ruff continued to provide leadership from the sidelines, offering encouragement and assistance to his teammates. Over the past four years, the Castle Rock, Colo., product was named to both the MW Academic All-Conference and Scholar-Athlete teams. He was also a three-time, first-team Academic All-District honoree, culminating with an Academic All-America selection last season. A 2013 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, Ruff was also a semifinalist for the 2013 National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy. He was named to the Dean's List throughout his academic career, completing his undergraduate studies with a 3.66 cumulative grade point average. Ruff, who served as an undergraduate researcher during the 2012-13 academic year, also volunteered his time working with youth football camps and participating in the Cowboys' ongoing fundraising efforts to assist those devastated by the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti.

Sewell excelled for the Cowgirls' basketball program the past four years, including the last two as team captain, while completing undergraduate requirements in physiology and beginning graduate coursework in the University's pharmacy program. A four-year letterwinner, she closed out her playing career with All-America honorable mention and first-team All-Mountain West accolades in 2012-13 after garnering second-team and honorable mention All-MW recognition in 2011-12 and 2010-11, respectively. The Broomfield, Colo., native also earned Academic All-MW and MW Scholar-Athlete honors four straight years and was a finalist for a 2013 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, while collecting first-team Academic All-District and third-team Academic All-America honors this past year. Sewell has been named to the university's Dean's List twice and President's Honor Roll four times, completing her undergraduate studies with a 3.86 cumulative grade point average, and finishing her first year of pharmacy school in 2012-13 with a 3.74 GPA. In addition to completing a four-year stint as a member of the UW Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Sewell served for two years on the Mountain West SAAC, including this past year as president. She also served an unprecedented two-year term as the student-athlete representative to the University's Athletics Planning Committee. Sewell has contributed her time and energy to a variety of charitable events as well, coaching basketball for the Special Olympics, organizing food drives, and providing service to Habitat for Humanity and Toys for Tots.

 

MW SCHOLAR-ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
School Year Student-Athletes School Sport
2012-13 Male: Luke Ruff
Female: Chaundra Sewell
Wyoming
Wyoming
Football and Field
Basketball
2011-12 Male: Greg Miller
Female: Kelly Williamson
Wyoming
New Mexico
Cross Country/Track and Field
Volleyball
2010-11 Male: Eric Robinson
Female: Therese Koelbaek
Air Force
UNLV
Swimming and Diving
Golf
2009-10 Male: Zane Beadles
Female: Simone Riford
Utah
TCU
Football
Rifle
2008-09 Male: Kellen Fowler
Female: Abigail Rogers
BYU
Air Force
Football
Gymnastics
2007-08 Male: Joseph Brown
Female: April Thomas
TCU
Colorado State
Track and Field
Cross Country/Track and Field
2006-07 Male: Lars Loseth
Female: Blair Leake
New Mexico
Air Force
Skiing/Soccer
Swimming and Diving
2005-06 Male: Matt Karmondy
Female: Maja Kovacek
Air Force
New Mexico
Swimming and Diving
Tennis
2004-05 Male: Morgan Scalley
Female: Lindsey Metcalf
Utah
BYU
Football
Volleyball/Track and Field
2003-04 Male: Sean Murray
Female: Delavane Diaz
New Mexico
Air Force
Baseball
Volleyball
2002-03 Male: John Dayton
Female: Theresa Kulikowski
Air Force
Utah
Swimming and Diving
Gymnastics
2001-02 Male: Teren Jameson
Female: Shannon Bowles
Utah
Utah
Cross Country/Track and Field
Gymnastics
2000-01 Male: John Greer
Female: Liz Toman
UNLV
Colorado State
Football
Track and Field
1999-2000 Male: Matthieu Amgwerd
Female: Katarina Malec
New Mexico
UNLV
Tennis
Tennis