Spencer Long was an academic and athletic leader for Nebraska in 2013-14.
Photo by Nate Olsen/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Thrive Academically in 2013-14

By NU Athletic Communications

University of Nebraska student-athletes produced another outstanding year in competition, in the classroom and in the community, continuing NU’s tradition of success in 2013-14. The Huskers increased their nation-leading total of all-time CoSIDA Academic All-Americans to 314 with a Big Ten-best seven academic All-Americans across all sports, while also claiming a Big Ten-leading five NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships in 2013-14.

Nebraska’s seven CoSIDA Academic All-Americans ranked among the highest totals in the nation across all divisions. The Huskers maintained their lead of 76 all-time CoSIDA Academic All-Americans over national No. 2 Notre Dame. The only school in the nation with 300 academic All-Americans, Nebraska is one of just three schools across all divisions with 200 or more, joining Notre Dame and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). NU leads the nation in CoSIDA Academic All-Americans since 2000 with 124, extending its nation-leading streak to 43 consecutive years with at least one academic All-American.

The Huskers also increased their nation-leading total of NCAA Top Ten Award winners to 17, as former women’s tennis All-American Mary Weatherholt was honored during the 2013-14 academic year. Nebraska also ranks among the nation’s best in the total of NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners, including five in 2013-14. Spencer Long (Football), Eric Schryver (Men’s Gymnastics), Emily Wong (Women’s Gymnastics), Sunny Russell (Rifle) and Anne Martin (Track & Field) all claimed the prestigious national awards.

A total of 675 awards were issued for the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Fall (354) and Spring (321) Honor Roll, recognizing Husker student-athletes who produced a 3.0 GPA or better during a semester. Among that group, Huskers produced 87 perfect 4.0 GPA semesters. A total of 62 Nebraska student-athletes also were honored as Big Ten Distinguished Scholars for posting 3.7 grade-point averages or better and lettering in their respective sports in 2013-14.

Nebraska’s CoSIDA Academic All-America success continues to set the standard for the approximately 1,400 member institutions. The Husker football team leads all individual sport programs in the nation with 107 all-time CoSIDA Academic All-America awards, including 2013 first-team honoree Spencer Long and second-team selections Jake Long and C.J. Zimmerer. Spencer Long added a prestigious Nationall Football Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship worth $18,000, along with prestigious NCAA Postgraduate ($7,500) and Big Ten Wayne Duke Postgraduate ($10,000) scholarships before being chosen in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Zimmerer added a spot on the AFCA Good Works Team and claimed Nebraska’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for his extensive community involvement.

The Nebraska men’s and women’s track and field program added three academic All-Americans, including first-teamers Levi Gipson and Anne Martin, along with second-team pick Cody Rush. Martin and John Welk swept the NCAA Elite 89 awards for the Huskers as the student-athletes with the top grade-point averages competing at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the second consecutive season. Nebraska’s 38 combined CoSIDA Academic All-America honors since 2002 for the men’s and women’s track and field program lead the nation.

Emily Wong, an 11-time All-American in competition for the Nebraska women’s gymnastics team, added a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America award to cap one of the greatest all-around careers for a student-athlete in Husker history. A two-time academic All-American, Wong was named the winner of the 2014 AAI Award presented to the top student-athlete in collegiate women’s gymnastics. The Honda Award finalist and Big Ten Gymnast of the Year earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate ($7,500) and Big Ten Wayne Duke Postgraduate ($10,000) scholarships. Her achievements earned her Nebraska’s Female Student-Athlete-of-the-Year Award and the Big Ten Medal of Honor. Men’s track and field student-athlete Seth Wiedel was Nebraska’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year and Big Ten Medal of Honor winner.

Nebraska’s Nation-Leading Football Academic All-America Total Grows to 107
Senior offensive lineman Spencer Long, senior tight end Jake Long and senior fullback C.J. Zimmerer claimed CoSIDA Academic All-America honors for Nebraska football in 2013, pushing the program’s nation-leading total to 107 all time.

Nebraska’s football academic All-America total is massive, considering Penn State football ranks third all-time and second in the Big Ten with 52. In fact, only 25 schools in the nation across all divisions have produced 100 or more CoSIDA Academic All-Americans across all of their sports in history.

The Husker football program has earned 11 CoSIDA Academic All-America awards in six seasons under Coach Bo Pelini, the most under any coach during that span.
Nebraska Claims 208 Academic All-Big Ten Awards in 2013-14
Across all sports, Nebraska student-athletes captured 208 academic All-Big Ten selections, an increase of 20 awards over the 2012-13 campaign.

Nebraska lead the Big Ten in the number of academic all-conference selections in men’s track and field (23), women’s gymnastics (9), men’s tennis (8), bowling (6) and sand volleyball (3), while tying for the Big Ten lead in men’s golf (7). The Huskers also ranked second in the Big Ten in academic all-conference selections in men’s basketball, men’s gymnastics, wrestling and rifle. Husker teams ranked among the top two in the conference in academic All-Big Ten choices across 10 sports in 2013-14.

Over the past six years, Nebraska has amassed more than 1,100 academic all-conference certificates across all sports. Husker student-athletes also earned 675 spots on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll during the fall or spring semesters of 2013-14. To earn a spot on the honor roll, a student-athlete must earn a 3.0 grade-point average during the semester. During the fall or spring semesters, 87 Husker student-athletes produced perfect 4.0 semester GPAs.

A total of 62 Husker student-athletes captured Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar awards. Those student-athletes produced 3.7 or better grade-point averages during the fall and spring semesters of 2013-14, while also earning letters in their respective sports.

Huskers Celebrate Graduations of 123 Student-Athletes in 2013-14
Across all sports, a total of 123 Husker student-athletes earned their bachelor’s degrees from the University of Nebraska from August of 2013 through May of 2014. Nebraska’s May graduating class of 57, joined a large group of 52 student-athlete graduates in December of 2013, while 14 Huskers earned their degrees in August of 2013.

Nearly 300 Huskers Honored at 24th Annual Student-Athlete Recognition Banquet
The University of Nebraska Athletic Department took one special night to honor its own student-athletes at the 24th annual Student-Athlete Recognition Banquet. A total of 279 honor medallions were presented to Husker student-athletes.

In addition to Seth Wiedel and Emily Wong earning Nebraska’s top individual honors as Student-Athletes of the Year, Coach Bill Spangler’s men’s golf team (3.250 GPA) and Coach Scott Jacobson’s women’s tennis team (3.485 GPA) claimed the 20th annual Herman Awards. The awards are presented to the Husker teams with the top team grade-point averages. It marked the sixth award for the women’s tennis program in the past 10 years, while the men’s golf team claimed its fifth award in the history of the program, including the fourth consecutive honor.
Nebraska Life Skills Program Continues Innovative Approach to Community Outreach
In the community, Husker student-athletes from all sports combined to complete more than 200 individual outreach requests and over 50 team outreach events impacting several thousand people in and around Lincoln. In the inaugural year of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Award, 230 student-athletes completed at least six service projects or more earning a place on this prestigious Athletic Department “Good Works” team.  

Recognizing their influence on youth, student-athletes served as motivational speakers for Middle School Matters, American Education Week and School is Cool assemblies to promote the importance of education and responsible choices. Husker student-athletes participated in weekly mentoring programs to serve as role-models to Lincoln Public Schools students and assisted several non-profit organizations to promote awareness for various causes. This year, the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation collaborated with the University of Nebraska Athletic Department to host the Life Skills Sportsmanship Pep Rally, which reached more than 4,500 middle school students from nearly 50 schools across the state of Nebraska.

In the fall of 2013, the Husker Life Seminar in partnership with the College of Education and Human Sciences entered its fifth year as a requirement for every incoming Husker student-athlete. Nearly 200 student-athletes completed the seminar, which focused on the transition to college life while learning skills to succeed as college students. Within the seminar, all newcomers assisted with the annual Husker Heroes event serving more than 800 special needs children and their families for a fun/interactive event held at the Hawks Championship Indoor Center.

The Life Skills staff continues to coordinate a number of major life skills events focusing on personal and career development. Student-athletes attended annual events, including the Student-Athlete Career Fair, Involvement Fair, Financial Forum, Networking Night, Career Clinics and Senior Session. The Life Skills program also offered several events to aid graduate students with the application process and insights on how to enhance marketability for admission.  All events are aimed at promoting total person development and preparation for life after sports.

The 2013-14 season marked the 11th year of the Huskers’ innovative Life Skills Award of Excellence Team Competition, which includes winners from both men’s and women’s divisions. Coach Mark Manning’s Nebraska wrestling team captured the award on the men’s side, while Coach Pablo Morales’ swimming and diving team claimed the honor on the women’s side for the third consecutive season.

The Life Skills Award honors the teams demonstrating the strongest commitment to all phases of the Life Skills Program, including outreach, education and leadership. The award was presented at the annual Nebraska Student-Athlete Recognition Banquet in April.

A total of 35 Husker student-athlete leaders were also recognized at the annual HERO Leadership Breakfast, honoring those who have consistently gone above and beyond establishing themselves as excellent leaders and role models. C.J. Zimmerer from the Nebraska football team, Sunny Russell from the Husker rifle team, Amanda Burau from the NU bowling team and Caleb Kolb from the wrestling team received the prestigious Heart and Soul awards, which recognize exemplary community service and leadership.

The Life Skills program now oversees the N-Club working diligently to engage letterwinner alums and bridge the past with present. The mission of the N-Club is to provide opportunities to letterwinners from all sports for connection, engagement and involvement through events, special reunions and communication while supporting the athletic, academic and career success of Husker student-athletes. Several social events were held in the fall and spring, allowing alumni athletes the opportunity to reconnect, see facilities, meet staff and interact with current student-athletes. Several new initiatives such as the Inner Circle and the HELP program allowed current Huskers to gain leadership, career and transition insights from Husker letterwinners.

2013-14 Nebraska Academic Highlights

314 All-Time CoSIDA Academic All-Americans across all sports (leads nation)
- 107 Football CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (leads all sports, all time)
- 37 Volleyball CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (leads all women’s sports, all time)
- 29 Softball CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (No. 2 among all women’s sports, all time)
- 38 Men’s & Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Combined CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (leads nation since CoSIDA added team in 2002)

Seven CoSIDA Academic All-Americans in 2013-14 (4 first-team, 3 second-team)
First Team: Spencer Long (Football), Emily Wong (Women’s Gymnastics), Levi Gipson (Men’s Track & Field), Anne Martin (Women’s Track & Field)
Second Team: Jake Long (Football), Cody Rush (Men’s Track & Field), C.J. Zimmerer (Football)

NCAA Top Ten Award - Mary Weatherholt (Women’s Tennis)
- Nebraska’s 17th all-time award (leads nation)

National Football Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship ($18,000)
- Spencer Long

Big Ten Wayne Duke Postgraduate Scholarship Winners ($10,000 each)
Spencer Long (Football)
- Emily Wong (Women’s Gymnastics)

NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Winners ($7,500 each)
- Spencer Long (Football)
- Eric Schryver (Men’s Gymnastics)

- Emily Wong (Women’s Gymnastics)
- Sunny Russell (Rifle)
- Anne Martin (Track & Field)

Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship Winners ($7,500 each)
- Brandon Chapek (Football)
- Sunny Russell (Rifle)

AFCA Good Works Team
- C.J. Zimmerer (Football)

Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Award
- C.J. Zimmerer (Football)

NCAA Elite 89 Academic Award Winners
- John Welk (Outdoor Track & Field); Anne Martin (Outdoor Track & Field)

National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society
- Spencer Long, Jake Long, C.J. Zimmerer, Brent Qvale, Pat Smith

Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Award
Oladapo Akinmoladun (Men’s Track & Field)
- Donovan Arndt (Men’s Gymnastics)
Alexandra Bilunas (Swimming & Diving)
- Hailey Decker (Softball)
- Maritza Hayes (Soccer)
- Alexandra Mosquera (Bowling)
- Mary Lloyd (Women’s Track & Field)
- Manuel Lavin (Men’s Golf)

- Mike Moudy (Football)
- Andrea Ruiz (Bowling)
- Christian Sanderfer (Track & Field)

- Shavon Shields (Men’s Basketball)
- Dawna Tyson (Softball)
- Aaron Wong (Men’s Golf)
- Emily Wong (Women’s Gymnastics)
- Nathan Wong (Men’s Golf)

Male Student-Athlete of the Year
- Seth Wiedel, Men’s Track & Field (Accounting)

Female Student-Athlete of the Year
- Emily Wong, Women’s Gymnastics (Nutrition Science)

Big Ten Medal of Honor Winners
- Emily Wong (Women’s Gymnastics)
- Seth Wiedel (Men’s Track & Field)

Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Winners
- C.J. Zimmerer (Football)
- Sunny Russell (Rifle)

Men’s Herman Award Winner
- Men’s Golf Team (3.250 GPA)

Women’s Herman Award Winner
- Women’s Tennis Team (3.485 GPA)

Life Skills Team Award Winners
- Wrestling
- Women’s Swimming & Diving

675 Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll Selections
- Fall (354) and Spring (321) (3.0 GPA or above)

208 Academic All-Big Ten Selections Across All Sports (3.0 GPA or above)

123 Student-Athletes Earned Degrees (August 2013 through May 2014)
- August 2013 - 14
- December 2013 - 52
- May 2014 - 57

87 Student-Athletes Earned Perfect 4.0 GPAs
- Fall (46) or Spring (41) Semester

62 Husker Letterwinners Named Big Ten Distinguished Scholars
(3.7 GPA or better in 2013-14)


More News Sponsor - First National Bank


Tickets Sponsor - StubHub