Army women’s tennis coach Paul Peck and senior football player Andrew Rodriguez have been honored with the 2012 Mike Krzyzewski Teaching Character Through Sport Award.
This marks the sixth time that the U.S. Military Academy has presented the award but just the fourth time corps squad athletes and coaches were eligible to win. The first two awards honored cadets who compete in company athletics and competitive club sports. All three categories received recognition on Thursday.
Peck and Rodriguez were presented with their awards during a special ceremony in the mess hall on Thursday afternoon. Krzyzewski, a 1969 USMA graduate and now Duke head basketball coach, was on hand to help present the awards.
The awards recognize West Point athletes and coaches for their outstanding commitment to the development of noble character through athletic participation and leadership. The cadet recipient exemplifies the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage both on-and-off the “fields of friendly strife.”
The coach recipient is an exceptional leader who exemplifies the Army Values of integrity, respect, selfless service, duty, honor, loyalty, and personal courage. This individual does much more than win games – he or she earns the respect and trust of athletes and makes a profound impact on their lives both as athletes and officers.
Dubbed the “Coach K” awards, Peck and Rodriguez were recognized for not only their playing and coaching accolades but for their commitment to excellence and respect for their teammates, opponents and sport.
Thursday’s honor was another in a long line of off-the-field awards for Rodriguez. A first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American, Rodriguez won both the National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy, presented to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete, and the Amateur Athletic Union’s James E. Sullivan Award, which is given to the top amateur athlete in the nation. Rodriugez, Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow are the only three players ever to win both awards. The Fairfax, Va., native was selected one of three captains in 2011 despite an unclear health status. After leading the team in tackles in 2009, Rodriguez missed the entire 2010 season. He overcame the career-threatening back injury to start 11 of the Black Knights’ 12 games last season. He was fifth on the team in tackles with 59 and accounted for a team-high three takeaways (one interception, two fumble recoveries).
Peck guided the Black Knights to their eighth straight Patriot League Tournament title in 2012, defeating arch-rival Navy in the championship match for the second straight season. A 10-time Patriot League Coach of the Year, Peck has guided the Black Knights to 52 straight regular-season conference victories, including a perfect 5-0 record this season. Peck has mentored four of the last five Patriot League Players of the Year, and this season he became the first Army tennis coach to collect 300 career wins as the Black Knights also exceeded the 20-win mark for the fifth consecutive year.
Mike Krzyzewski Teaching Character Through Sport Award Winners
Intercollegiate: Coach Paul Peck (women’s tennis) and Andrew Rodriguez (football)
Competitive Club: Robert Grieser (fencing) and Ryan Johnson (boxing)
Company Athletics: Artie Coughlin (football) and Anastasia Cale (soccer)
Intercollegiate: Coach Rich Ellerson (football) and Nathan Hedgecock (men’s basketball)
Competitive Club: Lt. Col. (R) Duston Saunders (pistol) and Terrell Anthony (men’s boxing)
Company Athletics: Maj.Adam Hodges (team handball) and Bend Ordiway (floor hockey)
Intercollegiate: Coach Troy Engle (track & field, cross country) and Matt Kyler (wrestling)
Competitive Club: Coach Emilio Claudio (judo) and Jack Gibson (team handball)
Company Athletics: Coach John Shireman (combative grappling) and Judson Noel (athletic grappling)
Intercollegiate: Coach Alma Kovaci (volleyball) and Zach McKelvie (hockey)
Competitive Club: Coach Ray Barone (boxing) and Courtney Miller (crew)
Company Athletics: Maj. Brad Fenske (cycling ) and Charles Harris (football)
John Harmeling, team handball; Coach John McVan (company athletics basketball)
Cory Kastl (boxing) and Joe Imbriaco (triathlon); Coach Marie Johnson (women’s lacrosse)