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Utah Athletics Holds Annual Crimson Carpet Awards

Apr 20, 2022

The University of Utah Athletics Department held its Crimson Carpet Awards on Wednesday night at the Julie M. & David S. Layton Field Club, part of the Ken Garff Red Zone at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Crimson Council, Utah's student-athlete advisory group, presents the annual event, held in person for the first time since 2019.

The Crimson Carpet Awards gather all student-athletes together for an evening to celebrate academic success, athletic talent, community service and leadership. Teams put forth their nominees for many of the awards while coaches made the nominations for the senior awards. Student-athletes voted on the winners.

ESPN 700 sideline reporter and former Utah linebacker Steven Sylvester served as the host of the event. Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan welcomed the gathering of student-athletes, coaches and administrators to begin the festivities. Katie Faulk of the softball team spoke on behalf of the senior class.
"It's amazing to think we gathered here in August, in this very room, when we kicked off the year," said Harlan. "I remember we talked about what wanted to accomplish. We wanted to leave our legacies. We wanted to be great in the classroom, great in competition, and great in the community. Thinking about all of you today, I just can't imagine you could have given anything more to this University. So, on behalf of this athletics department and this University, much gratitude to all of you for everything you have accomplished."

Wellness Advocate Award
Bryce CheekLacrosse
Demonstrated commitment to personal wellness and showed courage in advocating for mental health awareness among student-athletes.

Social Justice Advocate Award
Hannah Truax – Swimming
Committed to creating and maintaining actionable change in the Athletics Department, at the University of Utah and the Salt Lake City community surrounding social justice issues.
James R. "Bud" Jack Team Community Service Award
Men's and Women's Diving Team
Team that has gone the extra mile to give back to Salt Lake City. Not only does it provide a powerful reflection of who this team is, but also reflects what it means to be a caring student-athlete at Utah. This honors the legacy of Bud and Ila Jack, who dedicated 40 years of their lives to the University of Utah. Bud served in many capacities, including 17 years as the Athletics Director and Assistant Vice President for Athletic Development. Bud was also instrumental in starting women's scholarship athletics at Utah.
Rookie of the Year
Ben Smyth – Diving (Men)
Gianna Kneepkens – Basketball (Women)
Excelled in their first season of competition at the collegiate level by demonstrating dedication, ability, and spirit.
John Crawford Jr. Community Service Award
Tony Chen - Diving
Senior student-athlete who has performed significant community or campus service during his/her career at the University. John Crawford devoted much of his life to Utah Athletics and started the formalized Crimson Club.
Dr. Burtis Evans Scholar Athlete Award
Tony Chen - Diving
Senior men's student-athlete who made significant achievements in the classroom as well as in their sport. Burtis and Jan Evans showed equal devotion to the University. Dr. Evans served as a team physician for Ute Athletic teams for 37 years.
Fern Gardner Scholar Athlete Award
Cara Woolnough – Cross Country
Senior women's student-athlete who made significant achievements in the classroom as well as in their sport. Fern Gardner was hired as the Head Women's Basketball Coach & Director of Athletics for all of women's sports in 1975. She became the first Senior Associate Athletics Director at Utah and was instrumental in growing Utah's women's programs as the senior woman administrator.
Dr. Chris Hill Leadership Award
Joachim Lien – Skiing (Men)
Katie Faulk – Softball (Women)
Senior student-athletes who exemplified leadership for their teams, the athletics department, the campus and the community. Dr. Chris Hill retired as one of the longest tenured Division I Athletic Directors for the same school. Over 31 years, he navigated Utah Athletics into the Pac-12 and left a lasting legacy.
Ute Proud Most Inspirational Athlete
Britain Covey – Football (Men)
Alexia Burch – Gymnastics (Women)
Senior student-athletes who exemplified what it means to be a Ute by displaying a positive attitude, dedication, and pride in representing their school and team, while inspiring others to do the same.
Most Outstanding Senior Athlete
Devin Lloyd – Football (Men)
Dani Drews – Volleyball (Women)
Senior student-athletes with exceptional athletic achievements during their career at Utah.
Play of the Year
Britain Covey's punt return for a touchdown against Oregon on Nov. 20
Exemplifies the most memorable, extraordinary athletic moment in University of Utah Athletics this season.
Athlete of the Year
Devin Lloyd – Football (Men)
Dani Drews – Volleyball (Women)
Consistently performed at a high level throughout their season, raising the bar for all other competitors in their sport.
Most Inspirational Team
This team is one that inspired all athletes at the University of Utah with their performances for the entire season.