Chris Weber Wins Wayne Duke Award
Nebraska football player Chris Weber was chosen as this year’s male Wayne Duke Award winner, announced by the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday. The award is an annual $10,000 scholarship recognizing one male and one female Big Ten senior pursuing a postgraduate degree for achievements in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and leadership. On the women’s side, Rutgers’ golfer Emily Mills earned the honor.
Weber was a standout on and off the field throughout his Nebraska career. An Elkhorn High graduate, Weber will graduate from UNL in May and carries a 3.96 cumulative grade-point average in nutrition science, and has already been accepted to medical school at UNMC. On the field, Weber was a 2017 team captain and led the Huskers with 95 tackles and nine tackles for loss. He had four games with at least 10 tackles during his senior season.
Weber has also been instrumental in NU’s Life Skills program, as Weber has been named to the Brook Berringer and the Tom Osborne teams in each of the past four years. Earlier this year, Weber led NU’s Uplifting Athletes Road Race efforts, raising more than $35,000 for pediatric cancer research this year and more than $125,000 over the past four years.
Nebraska has had the male winner four of the past six years, which includes three football student-athletes. In 2013 and 2014, Nebraska had both the male and female winners.
The Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award is named for the late Big Ten Conference commissioner who served from 1971 to 1989 and passed last March. While leading the Big Ten, Duke spent much of his time working to improve academic standards and graduation rates for students competing in conference athletics.
The award is made possible by donations from local corporations and individuals supporting intercollegiate athletics. The Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership is comprised of the State of Indiana, City of Indianapolis, Indiana Sports Corp, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and Visit Indy.
2018 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award Nominees:
University of Illinois: Anthony Zea, Men’s Track and Field; Sara McKeeman, Women’s Track and Field
Indiana University: Marie Chamberlin, Women’s Swimming
University of Iowa: JoElla Guagliardo, Field Hockey
University of Maryland: Alexander Leto, Men’s Track and Field; Kristen Confroy, Women’s Basketball
University of Michigan: Carolyn McCann, Women’s Swimming
Michigan State University: James Cantela, Men’s Soccer; Lea Foerster, Softball
University of Minnesota: Yaroslav Pochinka Men’s Gymnastics; Sabrine Garrison, Women’s Golf
University of Nebraska: Chris Weber, Football; Sydney Townsend, Women’s Volleyball
Northwestern University: Riley Kelliher, Men’s Soccer; Sabrina Rabin, Softball
Ohio State University: Brayden Seal, Men’s Swimming; Elizabeth Auckley, Women’s Swimming
Penn State University: Brandon Smith, Football; McKayla Mawn, Women’s Swimming and Diving
Purdue University: LaSalle “P.J.” Thompson, Men’s Basketball; Maya Hughes, Softball
Rutgers University: Michael Rexrode, Men’s Lacrosse; Emily Mills, Women’s Golf
University of Wisconsin: Peter Roy, Football; Liliana Hansen, Women’s Open-Weight Rowing
Previous Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award Recipients:
2017: Geno Morelli, Penn State, Wrestling; Lindsay Agnew, Ohio State, Women’s Soccer
2016: Cody Rush, Nebraska, Men’s Track and Field; Lindsay Mable, Minnesota, Women’s Gymnastics
2015: Campbell Sode, Rutgers, Men’s Lacrosse; Jessica Plant, Minnesota, Women’s Swimming
2014: Spencer Long, Nebraska, Football; Emily Wong, Nebraska, Women’s Gymnastics
2013: Sean Fisher, Nebraska, Football; Katelyn White, Nebraska, Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field
2012: Miguel Pineda, Penn State, Men’s Gymnastics; Margaux Farrell, Indiana, Women’s Swimming
2011: Mike Torchia, Minnesota, Men’s Cross Country and Track and Field; Allie Smith, Purdue, Women’s Swimming
2010: Mark Ison, Northwestern, Football; Chelsea Davis, Ohio State, Women’s Diving
2009: Drew Ratner, Northwestern, Men’s Soccer; Lauren Mioton, Purdue, Women’s Basketball
2008: Kevin Trulock, Indiana, Football; Molly Crispell, Penn State, Women’s Swimming