Past Winners & Honorees

Rick May

Male Athlete
of the Year

 

1990

Greg Lewis
UW All-American Running Back

As a senior, Lewis rushed for 1,407 yards, a school record at the time, and earned Pac-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors. Lewis was also lauded with the inaugural Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top junior or senior running back, and finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting.

 

1991

Steve Emtman
UW All-American Defensive Lineman

Emtman was widely considered the best player on the 1991 undefeated national champion Husky football team. The defensive lineman was a consensus All-American, and also winner of the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award. He finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting prior to playing six seasons in the NFL. The Spokane native was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

 

1992

Edgar Martinez
Mariner Veteran and AL Batting Champ

Martinez played his entire 18-year MLB career with the Mariners and remains the only designated hitter to win the batting title (batting.356 in 1995). He earned Sports Star of the Year after finishing the 1992 season with the highest average for a right-handed hitter in 21 years. He is currently the hitting coach for Seattle and will be listed on the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

 

1993

Randy Johnson
Mariners Pitching Ace

Johnson won the second-most Cy Young Awards in MLB history with five over a 21-year career — spending nine seasons in Seattle. His 1993 season finished with a 19-8 record and 3.24 ERA, and he also became the first lefthander in 21 years to strike out 300 batters in a single season. He later was named World Series MVP with the Arizona Diamondbacks after winning the 2001 title.

 

1994

Napoleon Kaufman
Husky Rushing Champion

Kaufman is still the University of Washington’s all-time leader in rushing yards with 4,106. Kaufman broke the all-time rushing record during the signature moment of his UW career — a 38-20 victory at Miami to snap the Hurricanes’ record 58-game home winning streak. He played six years of pro football for the Oakland Raiders.

 

1995

Lou Piniella
Seattle Mariners Manager

Pineiella managed the Seattle Mariners from 1993-2002 and won the A.L. Manager of the Year Award in 1995. Piniella retired ranked 14th all-time in wins as a manager, and also led the Mariners to an MLB record-tying 116 regular season wins in 2001.

 

1996

Alex Rodriguez
AL Batting Champion

A-Rod earned Sports Star of the Year after an explosive 1996 season with the Seattle Mariners, becoming the first shortstop to win a batting title since 1960 and the youngest shortstop in All-Star Game history at just 20 years old. The phenom went on to become a 3-time AL MVP and the youngest player ever to hit 500 home runs.

 

1997

Gary Payton
SuperSonics All-Star

Payton was an integral part of the Seattle SuperSonics for 13 seasons, becoming the only point guard to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1996. That same season, he led Seattle to a franchise record 64 wins before losing to the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals.

 

1998

David Segui
Mariners Fielding Star

Segui spent two seasons of his 15-year MLB career in Seattle. The first baseman was known as the elite defensive player in the game, and he also managed to bat .305 with 85 RBI’s in his 1998 season with the Mariners.

 

1999

Marques Tuiasosopo
UW Quarterback and MVP

A Husky great during the late 1990’s, Tuiasosopo became the first true freshman to start a game at quarterback in UW history in 1997. In his 1999-2000 season, he led Washington to a Pac-10 title and a 34-24 Rose Bowl victory over Purdue. After a six-year NFL career, he is now the quarterbacks coach at Cal.

Female Athlete
of the Year

 

1994

Rhonda Smith
UW Center and Scoring Champion

Smith finished her impressive four-year collegiate career as the all-time leading scorer in UW women’s basketball history. A three-time All PAc-10 selection, the center went on to become the first player from Washington state to be drafted by the WNBA. She was added to the Husky Hall of Fame in 2004.

 

1995

Chris Gobrecht
UW Women’s Basketball Coach

Gobrecht’s 11 seasons with Washington women’s basketball saw her become the winningest coach in program history, compiling a 243-89 record. She led the Huskies to nine NCAA Tournaments and three conference titles, and now heads the women’s basketball program at Air Force Academy.

 

1996

Michelle Akers
National Soccer Legend

Akers, who grew up in Shoreline, was awarded Sports Star of the Year after competing for the U.S. women’s national team at the 1996 Olympics in Seattle, winning gold. She is widely regarded as one of the best to ever play women’s soccer, with a pair of World Cup victories and a 1991 Golden Boot (awarded to the top scorer in the World Cup).

 

1997

Kate Starbird
College Basketball Player of the Year

A Seattle native, Starbird’s dominant college basketball career saw her rise to the top of the Stanford all-time scoring leaderboard where she was awarded the Women’s Naismith College Player of the Year. She played pro basketball for 12 seasons, highlighted by a year with the Seattle Storm. Today, Starbird is an assistant professor and lab director at the UW Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering.

 

1998

Karen Thorndike
World Solo Sailor

Thorndike, a native of Snohomish, became the first American woman to sail around the world and successfully solo-navigate around the five “Great Capes”, a feat that earned her 1996 award at age 56.

 

1999

Becky Newbry
UW Softball All-American

Newbry’s college softball career powered UW’s run that saw four College World Series appearances and a pair of national runner-up finishes. The Pacific Northwest native earned co-batting champion of the Pac-10 in the process.

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