Allstate Sugar Bowl Announces Greater New Orleans Annual Award Winners park
The Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame announced its annual award winners on Wednesday. These honorees will be recognized, along with the remaining award winners who will be announced later this week, at a banquet on Saturday, July 23 at the Louisiana Superdome. The annual awards are based on achievements for the 2010-11 academic year which runs from July-June.
This year's eight annual awards recognize athletes from five different sports at the prep, collegiate and professional levels.
"The Allstate Sugar Bowl has worked closely with our Sport Selection Committee for over 30 years," said Paul Hoolahan, Chief Executive Officer of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. "This year's awards show the high-level of competition in the full-range of sports in the Greater New Orleans area."
Softball is recognized with two awards as LSU softball coach Yvette Girouard (right) has been selected as the Outstanding College Coach from the State of Louisiana, while the Archbishop Hannan softball team is the Outstanding Team from the State of Louisiana. Girouard completed a legendary career by guiding the Tigers to a 40-18 record en route to the program's 13th NCAA Regional appearance. In addition to being named the Co-Coach of the Year in the Southeastern Conference, she was named the Louisiana Coach of the Year for the 14th time. Hannan High School, meanwhile, put together a dream season under coach Becky Lambert, earning the school's first state title since Hurricane Katrina forced it to move to the North Shore. The Hawks defeated False River, 1-0, in the semifinals and Ascension Catholic in the title game.
Another sport with multiple honorees is baseball with a pair from the professional ranks collecting honors. Ron Washington, a New Orleans native and a member of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame, has been named the Outstanding Professional Coach for the State of Louisiana after managing the Texas Rangers to the first World Series appearance in organization history. The Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, then upended the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Unfortunately for Washington and his squad, they fell in the World Series to the San Francisco Giants and this year's Outstanding Professional Athlete from the State of Louisiana, closer Brian Wilson. Wilson, who played his collegiate ball at LSU, became the most recognizable face for the Giants as his intimidating black beard and his over-powering arm led to his appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated after throwing the final pitch in the Giants' first World Series triumph since they moved to California.
Basketball supplied the Outstanding Professional Athlete from Greater New Orleans as well as the Outstanding Male Amateur from Greater New Orleans. Danny Granger, a graduate of Grace King High School, completed his sixth NBA season this spring, averaging 20.5 points per game for the Indiana Pacers. Granger also helped the United States Senior National Team win the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey last summer. The top amateur athlete from the Greater New Orleans Area is Loyola University star Ryan Brock (left). The senior was the fourth-leading scorer in the nation (22.2 points per game) and was recognized as an NAIA All-American and as the Louisiana Small College Player of the Year.
The other two annual award winners are Rod Cusachs (right), the wrestling coach at Archbishop Rummel High School, and Maribel Lopez-Porras, a star golfer for Tulane University. Cusachs earned Outstanding Prep Coach honors for the State of Louisiana after directing the Raiders to their first-ever wrestling state championship. Rummel capitalized on four individual championships and four runner-up finishers to defeat all of the traditional powers in the state. Lopez-Porras, a sophomore from Bogota, Columbia, was named the Outstanding Female Amateur Athlete for Greater New Orleans after earning Conference USA Women's Golfer of the Year honors and leading the Green Wave to the NCAA Central Region Championships.
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Annual Award Winners:
Yvette Girouard, LSU Softball – Outstanding College Coach, State of Louisiana
Ron Washington, Texas Rangers – Outstanding Professional Coach, State of Louisiana
Rod Cusachs, Archbishop Rummel Wrestling – Outstanding Prep Coach, State of Louisiana
Ryan Brock, Loyola Basketball – Outstanding Male Amateur, Greater New Orleans
Maribel Lopez-Porras, Tulane Golf – Outstanding Female Amateur, Greater New Orleans
Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers – Outstanding Professional, Greater New Orleans
Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants – Outstanding Professional, State of Louisiana
Archbishop Hannan Softball – Outstanding Team, State of Louisiana
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Selection Committee, made up of local media members, honors athletes in a wide-range of categories. Following Wednesday's release of its annual award winners, Thursday will see the announcement of the James J. Corbett Award winners and a pair of Special Award winners, and on Friday, the organization will announce its 2011 inductees for the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the Eddie Robinson Award honoree. The Corbett Award has honored the top amateur athlete in the state of Louisiana each year since 1967 (since 2000, a male and a female Corbett Award has been distributed). The Robinson Award was instituted two years ago to honor the legendary football coach from Grambling State University; it recognizes an individual who demonstrates the qualities most closely associated with Coach Robinson: outstanding achievement in athletics, academics, sportsmanship and citizenship by maximizing the use of limited resources.