June 16, 2014
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin’s Reed Connor and Mary Massei were honored Monday with the Big Ten Conference's Medal of Honor for excellence in athletics and academics. The award is presented annually at each Big Ten institution to a male and female student-athlete in the graduating class who has demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics.
The Big Ten, the nation’s oldest collegiate conference, commemorates the 100th anniversary of a very unique tradition -- the Big Ten Medal of Honor -- in 2014. The conference’s most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence.
The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.” Big Ten schools currently feature more than 8,200 student-athletes, but only 24 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In the 99 years of the Medal of Honor, more than 1,300 student-athletes have earned this distinction.
The 2014 Big Ten Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, Connor enjoyed a successful career while at Wisconsin, earning four first-team All-America honors during his five years in Madison.
A native of Houston, Connor was an instrumental part of the men’s cross country team’s national championship in 2011, helping propel UW to its fifth national title. He also led Wisconsin to three Big Ten track titles, four cross country conference championships and four NCAA Great Lakes Regional crowns during his career.
Connor was named Big Ten Outdoor Freshman of the Year in 2011 after winning the 5000 meters, the first of his three conference titles, at the Big Ten meet.
During the 2014 track season, Connor won the 3000 meters title at the Big Ten indoor meet and was runner-up in the 5000, while at the outdoor conference meet he won the 10,000 meters and finished second in the 5000. His performances helped the Badgers sweep both the indoor and outdoor track titles for the first time since 2007.
A Capital One Academic All-District honoree, Connor graduated from Wisconsin with a 3.43 cumulative grade-point average with degrees in marketing and real estate and urban land economics.
It marks the second straight season a member of the men’s track and cross country teams has earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor, as Elliot Krause earned the accolades last year.
A two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, Massei rewrote the Wisconsin softball record books during her storied career. The outfielder set program records in runs scored (142), hits (249), batting average (.370), doubles (53), triples (14) and total bases (402).
Massei led the Badgers to the program’s first-ever Big Ten tournament title in 2013 and propelled the squad to the NCAA tournament during her junior and senior seasons.
This season, Massei led the Badgers with a .375 batting average and recorded a team-high 69 hits, 16 doubles and two triples. Her 69 hits this year ranked second in program history, while her 119 total bases also ranked second.
The Chino Hills, California, native was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Midwest Region first team and was a first-team Capital One Academic All-District honoree in 2013. A sociology major with a 3.13 cumulative GPA, Massei also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors three times during her career.
Massei is the first player in UW softball history to earn the Big Ten Medal of Honor.
WISCONSIN'S BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS
In 1914, the conference endowed a Medal of Honor, to be awarded annually at each institution, to a student in the graduating class that has demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics. Winners in 1964 were 50th Anniversary winners of the Medal of Honor. Beginning in 1982, a senior woman student-athlete from each institution has also been awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor.
1915 - Martin Thomas Kennedy, Rowing
1916 - William Dow Harvey, Track and Field
1917 - Mead Burke, Track and Field
1918 - Ebert Edward Simpson, Jr.
1919 - Charles H. Carpenter, Football
1920 - Anthony G. Zulfer, Baseball, Basketball
1921 - Allan C. Davey, Football
1922 - George Bunge, Football
1923 - Gustave K. Tebell, Baseball, Basketball, Football
1924 - Harold J. Bentson, Rowing
1925 - Lloyd Vallely, Cross Country, Track
1926 - Stephen H. Polaski, Football
1927 - Jefferson DeMent Burrus, Rowing
1928 - Louis Behr, Basketball
1929 - Theodore A. Thelander, Baseball, Basketball, Football
1930 - Donald W. Meikeljohn, Tennis
1931 - Louis E. Oberdeck, Rowing
1932 - Harvey H. Schneider
1933 - Nello Anthony Pacetti, Football
1934 - Robert A. Schiller, Wrestling
1935 - Rolf Falk Poser, Basketball
1936 - Howard Thurston Heun, Rowing
1937 - Leonard L. Lovshin, Football
1938 - Charles H. Fensk, Cross Country, Track
1939 - Walter I. Bietila, Baseball
1940 - Ralph H. Moeller, Football
1941 - Kenneth E. Bixby, Baseball
1942 - Burleigh E. Jacobs
1943 - Frederick R. Rehm
1944 - Edward M. Dzirbik, Wrestling
1945 - Ken Chandler, Track
1946 - Jerry Thompson, Football
1947 - Exner Menzel, Basketball
1948 - Carlyle Fay, Jr., Rowing
1949 - Donald R. Peterson, Rowing
1950 - Robert J. Wilson, Football
1951 - David Staiger, Track, Football
1952 - Walter E. Deike, Cross Country, Track
1953 - James T. Moran, Football, Rowing
1954 - Norbert J. Esser, Basketball, Football, Track
1955 - Richard W. Cable, Basketball
1956 - Robert E. Konovsky, Football, Wrestling
1957 - Patrick J. Levenhagen, Football
1958 - Walter V. Holt, Baseball
1959 - John R. Hobbs, Basketball, Football, Track
1960 - Dale L. Hackbart, Football
1961 - Gerald L. Kulcinski, Football
1962 - Thomas M. Hughbanks, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Track
1963 - Hugh V. (Pat) Richter, Baseball, Basketball, Football
1964 - William R. Smith, Track and Field
1965 - Gary V. Kirk, Tennis
1966 - David N. Fronek, Football
1967 - Dennis J. Sweeney, Baseball
1968 - Michael Gluck, Wrestling
1969 - Karl Rudat, Football
1970 - Douglas R. McFadyen, Hockey
1971 - Don Vandrey, Track and Field
1972 - Pat Matzdorf, Track and Field
1973 - Keith D. Nosbusch, Football
1974 - Gary D. Anderson
1975 - James R. Dyreby, Jr., Rowing
1976 - Patrick J. Christenso, Wrestling
1977 - Peter W. Brey, Basketball
1978 - Michael Eaves, Hockey
1979 - Steve Lacy, Cross Country, Track
1980 - Thoams G. Stauss, Football
1981 - David C. Goodspeed, Wrestling
1982 - David Mohapp, Football and Ann French, Badminton
1983 - David Farley and Rose Thomson, Cross Country, Track
1984 - John Johannson, Hockey and Janet Huff, Basketball
1985 - John Easker, Cross Country, Track and Cathy Branta, Cross Country, Track
1986 - Tim Hacker, Cross Country, Track and Lisa Fortman, Tennis
1987 - J. J. Weber, Basketball and Amy Justeson, Swimming
1988 - Paul Gruber, Football and Chris Gilles, Tennis
1989 - Dave Lee, Wrestling and Maureen Hartzheim, Cross Country, Track
1990 - John Byce, Hockey and Susan Temple, Volleyball
1991 - Jack Waite, Tennis and Elaine Demetroulis, Tennis
1992 - Matt Demaray, Wrestling and Heather Taggart, Soccer
1993 - Donovan Bergstrom, Track and Kim Sherman, Cross Country, Track
1994 - Louis Hinshaw, Track and Field and Susie Holt, Soccer
1995 - Jeff Gold, Soccer and Dana Tzakis, Golf
1996 - Scott Lamphear, Soccer and Lauren Gavaris, Tennis
1997 - Alastair Steel, Soccer and Kathy Butler, Cross Country, Track
1998 - Erik Raygor, Hockey and Katie Voigt, Basketball
1999 - Brian Doherty, Soccer and Shannon Brown, Soccer
2000 - Jay Schoenfelder, Cross Country, Track and Gina Panighetti, Swimming
2001 - Mike Kelley, Basketball and Allie Blomquist, Golf
2002 - Danny Westerman, Tennis and Andrea Wanezek, Swimming
2003 - Kirk Penney, Basketball and Erin Byrd, Volleyball
2004 - Ryan Tremelling, Track and Morgan Shields, Volleyball
2005 - Jim Leonhard, Football and Carla MacLeod, Ice Hockey
2006 - Nathan Brown, Track and Field and Jessica Ring, Ice Hockey
2007 - Joe Thomas, Football and Sara Bauer, Ice Hockey
2008 - Adam Barhamand, Rowing and Katrina Rundhaug, Cross Country, Track
2009 - Joe Krabbenhoft, Basketball and Gwen Jorgensen, Cross Country, Track
2010 - Jack Bolas, Cross Country, Track and Chavon Robinson, Track
2011 - Gabe Carimi, Football and Maggie Meyer, Swimming
2012 - Peter Konz, Football and Laurie Nosbusch, Soccer
2013 - Elliot Krause, Cross Country, Track and Kendall Schmidt, Rowing
2014 – Reed Connor, Cross Country, Track and Mary Massei, Softball