North Alabama assistant baseball coach Matt Hancock has been honored by the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association (ALABCA) as Assistant Coach of the Year on the Four-Year College Level for 2012.
The award was presented Friday night at the ALABCA annual Coaches Convention.
The head coach must nominate their assistant for this prestigious award by July 1. The award winner is selected based on his responsibilities and what his contributions mean to the program that year.
Hancock is entering his fifth spring as the head assistant coach and pitching coach at UNA. Along with his duties as pitching coach at UNA, he is also responsible for recruiting high school and junior college student athletes to the program. His other duties include assisting with summer camps, field maintenance, selling advertisement in the program as well as handling the ordering of equipment and uniforms.
Since Hancock’s elevation from graduate assistant to pitching coach, UNA has seen a steady improvement, especially with the pitching staff. UNA reached the NCAA regional tournament each of the past two seasons, with Hancock as an integral part of that success and turnaround for the program.
This past season Hancock took a completely new staff, which included five freshmen, and molded them into one of the top staffs in the Gulf South Conference. He also coached the team’s first All-American pitcher since 1999 in Chad Boughner.
Massey, Wilson earn
FLORENCE — UNA juniors Caleb Massey and Tavarius Wilson are first-team selections on the 2012 Don
Hansen Division II Football All-America team.
Wilson, from Jackson, Miss., was also previously named All-GSC , Daktronics All-Super Region 2 and Don Hansen All-Super Region 2. He received Gulf South Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance in UNA’s season-opener against Miles and went on to lead the team and the GSC in tackles for the season with 112. He is just the fourth UNA player since 1999 to record more than 100 tackles in a season. He had 41 solo tackles and 71 assists and added 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and one fumble recovery.
Massey, from Sulligent, set a school-record in 2012 with a 93-yard interception return for a touchdown against Texas A&M-Kingsville that helped UNA record a 21-16 win. He earned GSC Defensive Player of the Week honors for that performance and finished the season as the Lions’ second-leading tackler with 87 total stops. He was also second in the GSC in tackles. He intercepted five passes and returned them for 142 yards and two TDs. He also broke-up four passes, forced two fumbles and recovered one. He was also previously All-GSC, Daktronics All-Super Region 2 and Don Hansen All-Super Region 2.
Track season begins
UNA’s women’s track program will make its debut Monday when the Lions participate in the Emory Invitational at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
It is the first even for the track program which is in its first season since the school announced it was being added as a sport last year.
UNA will have 13 runners participating in seven individual events and two relays.
“The girls are very excited about getting the season started,” coach Scott Trimble said.
“The weather has been good lately, so they’ve been able to run outside. Everything has gone really well so far.
“It’s going to be exciting to see where we are at. I don’t know how well we will do, but there is no question that our girls will compete.”
Academic honor roll
BIRMINGHAM — Ten UNA student-athletes have been named to the 2012 Academic All-Gulf South Conference fall squads and the Lions placed 48 on the GSC Academic Honor Roll.
The UNA football team led the way with four selections for the Academic All-GSC football squad, while the UNA women’s soccer team had three selections. The Lions also had one selection each in men’s cross country, women’s cross country and volleyball.
Academic All-GSC Teams are selected by the Gulf South Conference Sports Information Directors (SIDs) and Faculty Athletic Representatives (FARs) in a joint vote. Nominees must have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.20 or better on a 4.00 scale for their entire academic career and may not be freshmen or first-semester or quarter transfers.
Earning Academic All-GSC honors were senior Zeke Nichols (cross country); junior Victoria Acocella (women’s cross country); junior Caroline Neisler (volleyball); senior Nikki Brown (soccer); senior Jo Chubb (soccer); junior Jennifer Osmond (soccer); senior Daniel Almon (football); junior Jason Smith (football); junior David Lundberg (football); junior Seth Alexander (football).
The Lions’ 48 honor roll selections included 17 from football, 10 from women’s soccer, 10 from women’s cross country, seven from volleyball and four from men’s cross country. To be eligible for the Academic Honor Roll, a student-athlete must have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.