NU Celebrates Most All-Americans in a Decade
Nebraska produced its most All-Americans in more than a decade with 42 Husker student-athletes capturing national honors across all sports in 2013-14.
Nebraska’s 42 All-Americans included 29 first-team award winners in their respective sports, led by 2014 NCAA 400-meter hurdles champion Miles Ukaoma. The Big Red’s All-Americans came from 17 U.S. states, including eight from the Cornhusker State, and three foreign countries to claim a total of 51 All-America awards.
The Husker All-Americans helped Nebraska compete at the highest levels, producing top-25 national finishes in 14 of their 24 varsity sports. Nebraska was also one of only two NCAA Division I schools to advance to the NCAA Championships in the six major team sports of men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball, while also playing in a football bowl game. The Huskers won NCAA Tournament games in five of those sports, while also winning their bowl game, a feat no other school in the country matched in 2013-14.
Not only did the Huskers enjoy success across many fields of competition, Nebraska produced historic success at the turnstiles. The Big Red football team averaged a school-record 90,933 fans per game to rank No. 9 in the nation in home attendance. The Huskers extended their NCAA-record sellout streak to 333 games in 2013. The Nebraska volleyball program led the nation in attendance for the first time with 8,175 fans per match in its first season at the Devaney Center, while extending its NCAA-record sellout streak to 200 – all while nearly doubling capacity from its storied tradition at the NU Coliseum. Men’s and women’s basketball attendance shattered records in the first seasons for the programs at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The men sold out each of their 16 home games at the arena, averaging a school-record 15,419 fans per game to rank 13th nationally. The women shattered season ticket sales records of their own, while ranking 11th in the nation with an average home attendance of 6,161.
The Huskers ranked 15th nationally in average home attendance for baseball with 3,241 fans per game at Hawks Field, while drawing an NCAA all-time conference tournament record crowd of 19,965 to the Big Ten Championship Game at TD Ameritrade Park on May 25. The Husker softball team also ranked in the top 20 nationally in attendance by averaging a school-record 963 fans per game at Bowlin Stadium, including a school-record 2,204 fans for a doubleheader with Ohio State on April 19.
Coach Bo Pelini’s Nebraska football program notched its sixth consecutive nine-win season by defeating Georgia in the Gator Bowl. The Big Red closed the season with a 9-4 record and finished at No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches Top 25.
Coach Tim Miles claimed Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year honors in his second season at Nebraska by leading the Huskers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998. The Big Red closed the year with a 19-13 overall record that included an 11-7 Big Ten mark in one of the nation’s most powerful men’s basketball conferences.
Coach Darin Erstad led the Nebraska baseball team to the NCAA Tournament in his third season at his alma mater. The former Major League Baseball All-Star, World Series champion and Gold Glove winner guided the Huskers to a 41-21 season and runner-up finishes in both the Big Ten regular season and at the tournament held at TD Ameritrade Park.
It marked the first time in school history that the Nebraska men’s basketball team and the baseball team advanced to NCAA Tournament play in the same season.
On the women’s side, Coach John Cook’s traditionally powerful volleyball program marched to the NCAA Elite Eight and finished No. 7 nationally in the AVCA Top 25. The Huskers finished second in the Big Ten with a 16-4 mark and closed the year with a 26-7 overall record. NU featured Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team AVCA All-America outside hitter Kelsey Robinson.
Connie Yori claimed Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year honors for the second straight season while leading the women’s basketball program to its first-ever conference tournament title. The Huskers advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round and finished with a 26-7 overall record that included a 12-4 Big Ten mark. The Big Red, who featured Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team WBCA All-America forward Jordan Hooper, finished No. 13 in the final Associated Press Poll and No. 17 in the final USA Today Coaches Top 25.
John Walker added Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year honors of his own for leading the Nebraska soccer program back to prominence. The Huskers swept the Big Ten regular-season and tournament crowns before advancing to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. NU finished with a 19-4-1 overall record that included a 10-1 Big Ten mark, while finishing 13th in the final NSCAA Top 25. Jordan Jackson was named the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year, while Ari Romero captured Big Ten Defender-of-the-Year honors.
Big Ten Coach of the Year Rhonda Revelle nearly led the Husker softball team back to the Women’s College World Series for the second straight season, advancing to a Super Regional at eventual NCAA runner-up Alabama. The Big Red shared the Big Ten regular-season title after going 18-5 in conference action. The Huskers finished with a 44-18 overall record to finish 17th in the final national rankings, while featuring first-team All-America catcher Taylor Edwards and her twin sister, third-team All-America pitcher Tatum Edwards.
The growing success in those seven team sports only tell part of the story of Nebraska’s overall athletic succes in 2013-14. The traditional national power Husker bowling team took second at the NCAA Championships with first-team All-American Lizabeth Kuhlkin leading the way for Coach Bill Straub’s team. Great America Rifle Conference Coach of the Year Stacy Underwood kept the Husker rifle program on the rise. The former Husker shooter led her alma mater to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships with young All-Americans Lauren Phillips, Denise Martin and Rachel Martin leading the way.
One of the greatest women’s gymnasts in Nebraska history, Emily Wong powered Coach Dan Kendig’s squad to the NCAA Super Six. Wong, who finished her career as an 11-time All-American, captured three All-America awards after being named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Year. She was also the AAI Award winner as the nation’s top gymnastics student-athlete. Teammates Hollie Blanske, Jessie DeZiel and Jamie Schleppenbach added first-team All-America awards for the Huskers.
Nebraska’s young sand volleyball program was ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation throughout the season, while the women’s outdoor track and field team capped the season with a 19th-place finish at the NCAA Championships thanks to first-team All-America performances by Maggie Malone (Javelin), Jazmin McCoy (Long Jump) and Ellie Ewere (Triple Jump).
On the men’s side, Coach Chuck Chmelka’s gymnastics team took ninth at the NCAA Championships behind a first-team All-America performance in the all-around from Wyatt Aycock. Coach Mark Manning guided the wrestling team to an outstanding season. The Husker wrestlers finished 11th at the NCAA Championships after posting a 12-2 overall dual record on the season that included a 6-2 mark in the powerful Big Ten. All-Americans James Green (3rd, 157) and Robert Kokesh (4th, 174) return to lead the Big Red in 2014-15.
Nebraska capped its 2013-14 campaign by receiving the top individual performance of the year from senior hurdler Miles Ukaoma at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Ukaoma raced to the 2014 NCAA title in the 400-meter hurdles to help the Husker men take 12th as a team at the outdoor championships. Coach Gary Pepin’s squad also tied for 17th at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Overall on the season, eight Husker men’s track and field athletes captured first-team All-America honors, including Ukaoma, Chad Wright, Drew Wiseman, Cody Rush, Patrick Raedler, Ricco Hall, Levi Gipson and Jacob Bender.
Nebraska 2013-14 All-Americans
(42 Athletes/51 Total Awards/29 First-Team Awards)
- Ameer Abdullah, Junior, Homewood, Ala., Football (3rd Team, Running Back)
- Oladapo Akinmoladun, Sophomore, Grandview, Mo., Men’s Track & Field (2nd Team, 60 Hurdles)
- Wyatt Aycock, Senior, Orlando, Fla., Men’s Gymnastics (1st Team, All-Around)
- Jacob Bender, Sophomore, Naperville, Ill., Men’s Track & Field (1st Team, Outdoor 4x400)
- Jodi-Rae Blackwood, Senior, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, Men’s Track & Field (2nd Team, Outdoor 4x100)
- Hollie Blanskie, Sophomore, Oak Grove, Minn., Women’s Gymnastics (1st Team, Beam)
- Jessie DeZiel, Junior, Rogers, Minn., Women’s Gymnastics (1st Team, Beam; 2nd Team, All-Around)
- Tatum Edwards, Senior, Murrieta, Calif., Softball (3rd Team, Pitcher)
- Taylor Edwards, Senior, Murrieta, Calif., Softball (1st Team, Catcher)
- Ellie Ewere, Junior, Hillsborough, N.J., Women’s Track & Field (1st Team, Outdoor Triple Jump)
- Levi Gipson, Sophomore, Lincoln, Neb., Men’s Track & Field (1st Team, Indoor & Outdoor 4x400)
- James Green, Junior, Willingboro, N.J., Wrestling (1st Team, 157 Pounds, 3rd)
- Veronica Grizzle, Senior, DeSoto, Kan., Women’s Track & Field (2nd Team, Hammer Throw)
- Meghan Haggerty, Sophomore, Glen Ellyn, Ill., Volleyball (Honorable Mention, Middle Blocker)
- Ricco Hall, Junior, Kentwood, Mich., Men’s Track & Field (1st Team, Indoor 4x400)
- Jordan Hooper, Senior, Alliance, Neb., Women’s Basketball (1st Team, Forward)
- Annie Jackson, Senior, Tekamah, Neb., Women’s Track & Field (2nd Team, Shot Put)
- Robert Kokesh, Junior, Wagner, S.D., Wrestling (1st Team, 174 Pounds, 4th)
- Mate Koroknai, Freshman, Debrecen, Hungary, Men’s Track & Field (2nd Team, 400 Hurdles)
- Tibor Koroknai, Junior, Debrecen, Hungary, Men’s Track & Field (2nd Team, 400 Hurdles)
- Liz Kuhlkin, Junior, Schenectady, N.Y., Bowling (1st Team)
- Jazmin McCoy, Freshman, Kansas City, Mo., Women’s Track & Field (1st Team, Outdoor Long Jump)
- Dexter McKenzie, Senior, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, Men’s Track & Field (2nd Team, Outdoor 4x100)
- Maggie Malone, Sophomore, Geneva, Neb., Women’s Track & Field (1st Team, Javelin)
- Anne Martin, Senior, Waverly, Neb., Women’s Track & Field (2nd Team, Heptathlon)
- Denise Martin, Chewelah, Wash., Sophomore, Rifle (1st Team, Smallbore)
- Rachel Martin, Peralta, N.M., Freshman, Rifle (2nd Team, Smallbore)
- Lauren Phillips, Seabeck, Wash., Freshman, Rifle (1st Team, Smallbore)
- Mary Pollmiller, Junior, Littleton, Colo., Volleyball (Honorable Mention, Setter)
- Patrick Raedler, Senior, Baiersbronn-Obertal, Germany, Men’s Track & Field (1st Team, Indoor & Outdoor Long Jump)
- Kelsey Robinson, Senior, Bartlett, Ill., Volleyball (1st Team, Outside Hitter)
- Kadie Rolfzen, Freshman, Papillion, Neb., Volleyball (3rd Team, Outside Hitter)
- Cody Rush, Sophomore, Grand Island, Neb., Men’s Track & Field (1st Team, Indoor & Outdoor 4x400; 2nd Team 400)
- Jamie Schleppenbach, Senior, Lincoln, Neb., Women’s Gymnastics (1st Team, Beam)
- Chance Sinclair, Junior, Spring Hill, Kan., Baseball (3rd Team, Pitcher)
- Rachel Theriot, Sophomore, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, Women’s Basketball (HM, Point Guard)
- Tim Thompson, Senior, Boys Town, Neb., Men’s Track & Field (2nd Team, Outdoor 4x100)
- Miles Ukaoma, Senior, Maize, Kan., Men’s Track & Field (1st Team-NCAA Champion, 400 Hurdles)
- John Welk, Junior, Bismarck, N.D., Men’s Track & Field (2nd Team, Outdoor 4x100)
- Drew Wiseman, Freshman, Bismarck, N.D., Men’s Track & Field (1st Team, Indoor & Outdoor 4x400)
- Emily Wong, Senior, Grand Forks, N.D., Women’s Gymnastics (1st Team, Floor, Beam; 2nd Team, All-Around)
- Chad Wright, Senior, Kingston, Jamaica, Men’s Track & Field (1st Team, Discus, 2nd Team - Shot Put)
- NCAA Champion - Miles Ukaoma (Men's Outdoor Track, 400 Hurdles)
- AAI Award Winner - Emily Wong (Women's Gymnastics)
- Honda Award Finalist - Emily Wong (Women's Gymnastics)
- Honda Award Finalist - Kelsey Robinson (Volleyball)
- Big Ten Player of the Year - Kelsey Robinson (Volleyball)
- Big Ten Player of the Year - Jordan Hooper (Women's Basketball)
- Big Ten Gymnast of the Year - Emily Wong (Women's Gymnastics)
- Big Ten Midfielder of the Year - Jordan Jackson (Soccer)
- Big Ten Defender of the Year - Ari Romero (Soccer)
Nebraska's Big Ten Championships (5 Titles, 4 Sports)
- Women's Basketball (Tournament)
- Women's Gymnastics (Co-Regular Season)
- Soccer (Regular Season & Tournament)
- Softball (Co-Regular Season)
Nebraska's 2013-14 Conference Coaches of the Year (5)
- Tim Miles, Men's Basketball, Big Ten Coach of the Year
- Connie Yori, Women's Basketball, Big Ten Coach of the Year
- John Walker, Soccer, Big Ten Coach of the Year
- Rhonda Revelle, Softball, Big Ten Coach of the Year
- Stacy Underwood, Rifle, Great America Rifle Conference Coach of the Year