Conradt to receive Giant Steps Award from National Consortium for Academics and Sports
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Former University of Texas women's basketball coach Jody Conradt will be honored with a prestigious "Giants Steps" award Tuesday for her career-long work and support of student-athletes. The "Giant Steps" award is given by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS), and the NCAS will hold its annual awards banquet Tuesday, Jan. 29, at The Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando.
The National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) is an organization of colleges, universities and individuals who are advocates for balancing academics and athletics. The mission of the NCAS is to focus on educational attainment and use the power and appeal of sport to positively affect social change. NCAS promotes the annual "National Student-Athlete Day," and the Giant Steps awards are given annually to those who exemplify the balance between academics and athletes and who serve as role models.
Conradt, who retired from coaching in March of 2007 after compiling a 900-307 all-time collegiate coaching record, is being recognized with a Giant Steps honor in the coaching category. In her 38 years as a collegiate head coach, the last 31 at Texas, Conradt was the second collegiate coach to reach 900 career victories, and her player graduation rate was an impressive 99 percent for all student-athletes who exhausted their athletic eligibility. Her Texas student-athletes were selected for 22 Academic All-Big 12 honors and four Academic All-America honors.
Enshrined in both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, Conradt developed 28 professional basketball players (who played in the USA and in Europe), four Olympians, three players who earned numerous national player of the year honors, and eight Kodak All-Americans.
Conradt will be one of seven individuals or organizations honored by the NCAS on January 29 with a Giant Step honor. The other recipients are:
· C. Vivian Stringer and her 2006-07 Rutgers women's basketball team, recipients of the Eddie Robinson Leadership Award;
· Julie Foudy, former World Cup, Olympic and USA National soccer team star who runs a leadership academy and who is involved with international child labor issues, who will receive the "civic leader" Giant Steps Award;
· Three "Courageous Student-Athlete" awards will go to Brittany and A.J. Detwiler, brother (wrestler) and sister (softball player) at Boston University; and Maurice Torres, Montclair State University basketball player;
· Johnnie Williams, Army veteran who was paralyzed in Iraq and who is a multi-event gold medalist in the National Veteran Wheelchair Games, singled out as the Giant Steps "Barrier Breaker"; and,
· The Miracle League, the national baseball organization for disabled and wheelchair-bound youth, is the organization selected for 2008 Giant Steps recognition.
Additionally, former University of Florida and NFL quarterback Danny Wuerffel, who now works in New Orleans as executive director of Desire Street Ministries, will be inducted into the NACS Hall of Fame.
Conradt is the fourth member of Longhorns athletics, past or present, to receive an award from the NCAS. The others are: Donna Lopiano, former UT women's athletics director (1994, civic leader award); football standout Priest Holmes (2003, civic leader); and current women's track and field/cross country head coach Bev Kearney, honored in 2004.
Conradt has been honored by numerous organizations for her coaching, civic and leadership excellence. Among the more recent honors, Conradt was inducted into the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame in 2003 and was the inaugural recipient of the WNBA "Inspiring Coach Award" this past April 2007 during the Women's Final Four in Cleveland. Within the State of Texas, Conradt was hnored this past May with two resolutions from the Texas House of Representatives and The Texas Senate in honor of her achievements. She also received the 2007 City of Austin "Most Worthy Citizen" award from the Austin Board of Realtors for her lifetime of outstanding community service.