Golic, Freeman Take Home Top Athlete Honors at 2009 SB Awards

Stumpf and Wilson are named Coaches of the Year at second annual event.

UCSB men's water polo
player Milos Golic accepts
his Male Athlete of the
Year Award at the 2009 SB
Awards on Wednesday
night. Swimmer Katy
Freeman was named
Female Athlete of the
Year. (Photo by Randy

Visit the SB Awards page


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Senior swimmer Katy Freeman and sophomore water polo player Milos Golic were named Female and Male Athletes of the Year respectively, while women's soccer coach Paul Stumpf and swimming coach Gregg Wilson were named Coaches of the Year at the 2009 SB Awards on Wednesday night at the Isla Vista Theater in Isla Vista, Calif.

Freeman led the UCSB women's swimming team to its fourth consecutive Big West title and then earned All-American honors at the NCAA Championships with an eighth-place finish in the 200-meter breaststroke. Her time of 2:09.12 not only earned Freeman All-American honors, but set new school and Big West records. She also set a UCSB record while winning the 100-meter breaststroke at the league championships in a time of 48.83. Finally, Freeman was recently named CoSIDA Third Team Academic All-District.

For his part, Golic was the top player on a UCSB water polo team that finished with a 17-11 overall record and a national ranking of sixth. He became the first Gaucho in nearly 20 years to earn First Team All-American recognition after notching 82 goals, a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation-leading 3.04 per game. Golic also earned First Team All-MPSF and CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District honors.

Stumpf guided the Gaucho women's soccer team to a 12-7-3 overall record and a 5-2-1 mark in the Big West. The team finished second in the league's regular season standings, and then notched shootout wins over Cal Poly and top-seeded Long Beach State to earn its first conference tournament title. The victory in the Big West Tournament secured UCSB its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1991. Additionally, the Gauchos entered the nation's top-25 for the first time in over 15 years and had five players named to the All-Big West Teams. A Stumpf-coached player - in this case junior Genelle Ives - was named Big West Offensive Player of the Year for the fifth time in the last eight years.

Wilson was named Big West Coach of the Year after cajoling his men's swimming team - which competes without the benefit of divers - to its second straight Big West championship. It was the fourth time in the last six years and the 28th time overall that UCSB had won the Big West crown, edging UC Davis by 17 points. At the league meet the Gauchos set a pair of meet and conference records. During the campaign, Santa Barbara set five new school records. Finally, Wilson's top freshman, Kevin Ferguson, was named Big West Freshman of the Year.

There were several other awards given out during the gala celebration on Wednesday night.

Soccer was chosen Women's Team of the Year, while tennis was named Men's Team of the Year. Both squads earned NCAA Tournament bids by winning their respective tournaments. The women's soccer team used shootout wins in tourney games against Cal Poly and top-seeded Long Beach State to qualify for its first NCAA Tournament since 1991. Despite losing its No. 1 player to injury early in the year, Marty Davis's tennis team blew through the Big West Tournament for the fourth straight year and the sixth time in the last eight. The Gauchos were seeded fourth and needed wins over top-seeded Pacific and second-seeded UC Irvine to run their streak to four.

UCSB's Female and Male Newcomers of the Year each do their work pushing off of a pitcher's rubber with freshman softball pitcher Krista Cobb and junior baseball hurler Joe Gardner garnering the honors. The award for Male Sports Performance of the Year went to Chris Pontius, who scored a goal in the 101st minute to give the Gaucho soccer team a stunning 1-0 sudden-death victory at Cal Poly in front of more than 11,000 fans and a national television audience. The Female Sports Performance of the Year went to Danielle Domenichelli, who became the third consecutive Gaucho to win the individual title at the Big West Women's Cross Country Championships.

A pair of UCSB athletes were awarded the Phil Womble Gaucho Heart Award. Women's basketball player Sha' Rae Gibbons and baseball player Doug Hansen were recognized for possessing the "never give up" attitude of longtime Gaucho supporter Phil Womble. Womble, 72, was born with cerebral palsy, but he has never allowed the condition to slow him down. He continues to regularly attend numerous UCSB Athletics events each year and in the spring of 2008, the Phil Womble Hall of Champions was dedicated in the lobby of the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on the UCSB campus.

Another longtime supporter of Gaucho Athletics, Charles Sotudi, was selected the first recipient of the "Dare to Make a Difference Award." The award will be given annually to the booster or community member who goes the extra mile to assist UCSB Athletics and touch the lives of its student-athletes and coaches. Sotudi is a regular at numerous department events throughout the year. Not only does the UCSB grad attend many games as a fan, he caters many banquets and post-game functions.

The golf team, which earned a perfect score of 1,000 by a measure of the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate, earned the Team Academic Recognition Award. The 1,000-point score ranked among the top schools in the nation.

Finally, baseball's Brian Gump and swimming's Anne Marie May were chosen Mr. and Ms. Gaucho respectively. In a vote of their fellow student-athletes, Gump and May were deemed to best represent the meaning of being a Gaucho student-athlete.

Mr. and Ms. Gaucho were not the only awards voted on by the student-athletes. All of the honors, with the exception of the Phil Womble Gaucho Heart Awards and the Team Academic Award, were voted on by student-athletes.