TOWSON, Md. – Junior Jordan Dangerfield of the Colonial Athletic Association champion football team and senior Kacy Catanzaro of the gymnastics team were named as Towson University’s Male and Female Athlete of the Year award winners, it was announced at the Golden Paws Event in the Towson Center on Saturday night.
In addition, Rob Ambrose, who led the Tiger football team to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA FCS playoffs, was honored as the Coach of the Year. Ambrose was one of four Towson head coaches to be named as conferences coach of the year (Bruce Atkinson, Vicki Chliszczyk, Sonia LaMonica) this past season and he was recognized as the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year presented to the top coach in NCAA FCS football.
Dangerfield, a first team All-American, was one of the captains of the “Turnaround Tigers”. He led Towson with 93 tackles from the strong safety position and ranked second in the CAA among defensive backs in total tackles. Dangerfield also had two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries en route to being named first team All-CAA. He helped the Tigers finish the season as the ninth-ranked team in the nation.
Catanzaro was named as the 2012 ECAC Gymnast of the Year after leading the Tigers to a 20-5 record as a senior and a four-year mark of 75-16. She was honored as the NCAA Southeast Regional Gymnast of the year and she was a five-time selection as ECAC Gymnast of the Week. Catanzaro qualified for the NCAA regionals and set an ECAC record with a 9.975 vault score at the ECAC Championship Meet to win the title. She was chosen first team All-ECAC on vault, bars, floor and all-around while leading the Tigers to a second-place finish.
Seniors Jocelyn Papciak of women’s soccer and Matt Lamon of men’s lacrosse were honored as the winners of the Tiger Club Scholar-Athletes of the Year Award.
The Female Unsung Hero Award was presented to Kelly Custer of the CAA Champion women’s lacrosse team while the Male Unsung Hero Award went to baseball’s Tyler Austin.
A first team All-CAA selection, Custer helped the Tigers post a 15-3 mark and take home the CAA Title. She tied for the team lead with 31 goals and dished out eight assists. Custer tallied four goals with three assists in the CAA Tournament en route to being named to the All-Tournament team.
A four-year letter-winner for the Tigers, Austin has appeared in a school record 81 games. He leads the CAA with his 12.38 strikeouts per nine innings. Tyler has already broken the Towson career record for strikeouts with 205 in his four years.
Senior women’s lacrosse goalie Mary Teeters was honored as the winner of the Female Senior Career Achievement Award. A four-year starter at goalkeeper for the Tigers, Teeters played in a school record 75 games. She led the Tigers to the 2012 CAA Championship and was named as the CAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer. A two-time All-CAA first team selection, Teeters ranks among Towson’s all-time leaders with 620 career saves. She was a nominee for the Tewaaraton Trophy as the top lacrosse player in the country.
Senior Tyler Wharton of the football team was chosen as the winner of the Male Career Achievement Award. A three-year starter at fullback, Wharton was one of the key players for the 2012 CAA Champion Tiger football team. He was a key blocker for the Tigers’ run game which led the CAA with 230 rushing yards per game. Wharton was second on the team with five touchdowns in 2012 and he was a two-time All-CAA selection.
Freshman running back Terrance West and freshman shortstop Hailey Balk were named as the Male and Female Rookie of the Year Award winners.
The winner of the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in NCAA FCS, West led the nation a set a school record with 29 touchdowns. West was named the CAA Rookie of the Year and First Team All-CAA. He rushed for 1,292 yards and was a key player in the Tigers’ dramatic improvement from 1-10 to 9-3 and a CAA Championship.
A starter in 46 of 52 games at shortstop, Balk led the Tigers in hitting a .358 clip which ranked her fifth in the CAA. As a freshman, she was third in the CAA with 54 hits, including an 18-game hitting streak. Balk had 16 multi-hit games, drove in 23 runs and scored 22.
The Tiger women’s swimming and diving team and the men’s soccer team were selected as the winners of the Wayne Edwards Team Academic Achievement Awards as the programs with the highest grade point averages.
Face-off specialist Ian Mills of the men’s lacrosse team and Catanzaro of the gymnastics team were selected as the Strength and Conditioning Athletes of the Year.
In addition, Director of Athletics Mike Waddell and University President Dr. Maravene Loeschke presented Lonnie McNew with the prestigious Minnegan Award for dedication to Tiger athletics.
In addition, Ted Zaleski was honored with the Director’s Award while Jacki Molen was the winner of the Service to Tiger Athletics Award.
The final award of the evening was a tie for Team of the Year as the football team and women’s lacrosse team, who each won CAA Titles this past season, shared the honor.
Spiro Morekas, a 1983 Towson graduate who has served as the radio broadcaster for Tiger football, basketball and lacrosse games, served as the Master of Ceremonies.