Arizona Christian University celebrated the achievements and character of student-athletes at this year’s Westphal Athletic Awards Ceremony on May 4th. The fourth annual event, held at New City Church, saw over 250 attendees including students, coaching staff, families, and members of the ACU community.
The sixteen Westphal Awards, named for former NBA player and coach Paul Westphal, who started his coaching career at ACU (at the time, Southwestern Conservative Baptist Bible College), were awarded throughout the evening by student presenters. Coaches Matt Harris and Trisha Thurston served as the evening’s emcees.
Coach of the Year, Chris Tolson attributed his award to his Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams in his acceptance speech saying, “This award is because of the talented players I coach. None of it is possible without the athletes at ACU and those on the tennis team.”
The ceremony culminated with Paul Westphal, a member of the ACU Board of Trustees, giving ACU athletes humorous yet valid advice saying, “You have to have great teammates to have a great team. The first step in being a great teammate is don’t be a terrible teammate and then take it from there.” Westphal awarded senior Men’s Tennis player Seth Moore with the “Westphal Award,” celebrating him as the “best teammate.” Moore acknowledged Westphal in his acceptance speech by saying, “You help us live our dream. By lending your name to our athletic fund, we can secure more funding for our programs, which helps us live our legacy.”
ACU President Len Munsil summed up the year and evening with, “I see all the students that are nominated and don’t win and I know what they’ve done and they are all deserving.”
Congratulations to all the 2017 Westphal Athletic Award Winners!
Female Faith Award: Charlotte Moore – Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country
Male Faith Award: Gavin Bartlett – Men’s Basketball
Record-Breaking Performance: Jonathan Nunnally, Jr. – Baseball
Best Game: Gerrit Groenewold – Football
Best Come-From-Behind Performance: Men’s Basketball
Service Award: Allisa Miller – Softball
Break-Through Performance: Chris Senna – Men’s Golf
Most Inspirational: Tony Bedard – Men’s Tennis
Best Upset: Women’s Basketball
Comeback Athlete: Dillon Eaves – Baseball
Best Play: Football
Best Team: Men’s Tennis
Coach of the Year: Chris Tolson – Tennis
Female Athlete of the Year: Mikayla Morgan – Women’s Tennis
Male Athlete of the Year: Derek Brush – Football
Westphal Award: Seth Moore – Men’s Tennis