2021 Westphal Awards Celebrate ACU Student Athletes - Arizona Christian University

Arizona Christian University Athletics celebrated achievements from the 2020-21 athletic year by hosting the eighth annual Westphal Awards. Athletes and coaches were recognized for their service, character, and success on the field or court with 15 awards, including the prestigious Westphal Award. The ceremony also featured a special video tribute to NBA Hall of Famer and former ACU Board Member Paul Westphal, who passed away in January following a courageous battle against brain cancer.

Steven Valdez, ACU Director of Enrollment Services and alumni class of 2008, served as emcee for the evening. Former Arizona Christian Campus Pastor and current Director of Alumni Engagement Tim Reed presented the Service Award named in his honor. Don King, ACU Board Member and one of ACU Athletics biggest supporters, was on hand to award the Don King Most Inspirational athlete of the year.

To close the evening, Arizona Christian University President Len Munsil handed out the Westphal Award to graduating senior, track and field star, Zak Kleppe.

The full list of 2021 Westphal Award winners is as follows:

Female Faith – Gretchen Wilson (Acrobatics & Tumbling)

Male Faith – JD Hamby (Baseball)

Record Breaking Performance – Krysta Petersen (Women’s Volleyball)

Best Game – Des Gonzalez (Women’s Basketball)

Best Come-From-Behind Performance – Football

Break-through Performance – Kaycee Brown (Women’s Basketball)

Tim Reed Service Award – Maddie Shasky (Acrobatics & Tumbling)

Don King Most Inspirational – Robby Wilson (Men’s Basketball)

Comeback Athlete of the Year – Dee Gallon (Football)

Best Play – Nestor Higuera, Riley Tucker, Nathan Peterson (Football)

Best Team – Men’s Basketball

Mike Lusardi Coach of the Year – Jeff Bowen (Football)

Female Athlete of the Year – Emma Stevens (Swimming)

Male Athlete of the Year – Riley Tucker (Football)

Westphal Award – Zak Kleppe (Men’s Track & Field)

Congratulations to all the Westphal winners and nominees! The entire event can be watched on demand here.