The University of St. Thomas in Houston, Tex., and Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina are the recipients, respectively, of the Red River Athletic Conference and Conference Carolinas Messick Sportsmanship awards.
UST, which fields seven teams that compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), also received special recognition for both its men’s teams and women’s teams—taking home three awards total.
UST Athletic Director Todd Smith said that the goal for coaches, administrators and student athletes is to represent the University with the highest of integrity and class, according to the University’s website.
“We are an extension of this great university,” Smith said. “We are about graduating champions of faith and character.”
An athletic director at one of the competing universities praised UST student athletes. “When you play against St. Thomas you are not only assured of good competition but students who understand what sportsmanship means and how they represent themselves and their university, whether it be a win or a loss. Kudos to Todd and his coaching staff,” he said.
Belmont Abbey College, which competes in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II with 19 men’s and women’s teams, won its Conference sportsmanship award for the third straight year, sharing the title this year with North Greenville University.
Additionally, the College won three individual team sportsmanship awards throughout the course of the year, taking hold of women’s outdoor track and field, men’s volleyball, and men’s lacrosse, according to the College’s website.
The University of St. Thomas and Belmont Abbey College are recommended in The Newman Guide for their strong Catholic identity.
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.