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Truman State Captures GLVC James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Award

INDIANAPOLIS – The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) announced Wednesday that Truman State University has been named the recipient of the GLVC James R. Spalding Overall Sportsmanship Award for the 2018-19 season. In addition, 28 student-athletes, one male and one female per school, have been named James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Award winners, while 24 teams – one per sport, plus two ties – were formally recognized after learning of their honor during their respective All-Conference process.

Each institution – through the head coach – names one award honoree in each sport sponsored. These individual sport honorees became candidates for the James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Award. Each institution then selected one male and one female student-athlete from its season-long list of honorees to be named as James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Individual Award winners.

Furthermore, during the initial nomination process, each institution’s coach ranks the top-three teams within the sport that best displayed good sportsmanship throughout the season. The team with the highest point total is then named that sport’s James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Team Award winner. At the conclusion of the academic year, the institution that accumulated the highest point total across all sports will be named the James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Overall Award winner.

This accolade is Truman State’s second GLVC Sportsmanship Award.  The Bulldogs now join Bellarmine University as the only two league schools to have won multiple times. Under the guidance of Director of Athletics Jerry Wollmering, the Bulldogs accumulated the most points during the 2018-19 season, featuring team sportsmanship wins in football, softball and men’s outdoor track and field.

While Truman picked up the most top-three rankings, Bellarmine led the league with four program wins, including baseball, women’s cross country, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer.  The University of Indianapolis (men’s and women’s indoor track and field and women’s outdoor track and field) and McKendree University (men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s basketball) joined Truman in a tie for second with three program wins each.

Quincy University (women’s basketball and men’s tennis) and University of Southern Indiana (men’s and women’s tennis) each earned two awards, while Drury University wrestling, University of Illinois Springfield men’s cross country, Maryville University men’s golf, Rockhurst University women’s golf, and William Jewell College volleyball also earned awards.  In men’s lacrosse, the University of Alabama Huntsville and Shorter University shared the honor.

Among the notables for the sport winners, Bellarmine picked up its second-straight and league-best fourth honor in women’s cross country, while the Knights’ men’s and women’s soccer programs both picked up back-to-back awards.  Truman State scored its fourth consecutive accolade in football, which ties UIndy for the league record, while William Jewell notched its fourth volleyball award in five years.  In men’s tennis, Quincy and Southern Indiana shared the award, which marked the Hawks’ fourth straight, while the Screaming Eagles also picked up their fourth overall to tie Quincy for the league record.

Truman joins eight others schools as award winners in the 12-year period the honor has been presented. Former league member Northern Kentucky University claimed the inaugural award in 2007-08, University of Wisconsin-Parkside earned it in 2008-09, Bellarmine claimed back-to-back titles in 2009-10 and 2010-11, and University of Southern Indiana won the title for the 2011-12 academic year.  Drury University then took home top honors in 2012-13, Lewis University won from 2013-14, William Jewell was distinguished in 2014-15, Maryville picked up the accolade in 2015-16, and Truman garnered its first title in 2016-17.  Bellarmine garnered its league-best third award in 2017-18.

The GLVC renamed its annual sportsmanship award in 2016 after Spalding, who is referenced as one of the league’s two “Founding Fathers” and for his longtime service at Bellarmine.  Spalding was first a basketball student-athlete at Bellarmine, who later returned to serve his alma mater as assistant basketball coach (1957-66), head basketball coach (1966-71), men’s cross country/track coach (1961-75), men’s tennis coach (1961-62), and men’s golf coach (1967-69), before being elevated to director of athletics (1971-94). During his tenure as AD, Spalding expanded Bellarmine’s participation in intercollegiate sports from four to 16 teams, and played a prominent role in both the formation of the GLVC and the sponsorship expansion of women’s athletics within the league.  Long revered as one of the league’s pioneers, Spalding was inducted as a charter member of the GLVC Hall of Fame in 2001.  He died in 2012 at the age of 79 following a lengthy illness.


Men’s Cross Country: Illinois Springfield Women’s Cross Country: Bellarmine
Football: Truman State Volleyball: William Jewell
Men’s Soccer: Bellarmine Women’s Soccer: Bellarmine
Men’s Swimming: McKendree Women’s Swimming: McKendree
Men’s Basketball: McKendree Women’s Basketball: Quincy
Men’s Indoor Track & Field: Indianapolis Women’s Indoor Track & Field: Indianapolis
Wrestling: Drury Men’s Lacrosse: Alabama Huntsville & Shorter
Men’s Golf: Maryville Women’s Golf: Rockhurst
Men’s Tennis: Quincy & Southern Indiana Women’s Tennis: Southern Indiana
Baseball: Bellarmine Softball: Truman State
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field: Truman State Women’s Outdoor Track & Field: Indianapolis


School Male Winner Female Winner
Bellarmine Chris Gambert, Baseball Sabrina Fussenegger, Softball
Drury Matt Wagoner, Soccer Bentley Mara, Volleyball
Illinois Springfield Zach Abfall, Baseball Maria Espinosa, Golf
Indianapolis Matej Kostadinov, Tennis Mary Grace Ertel, Volleyball
Lewis Devon Amoo Mensah, Soccer Colleen Wilhelm, Volleyball
Maryville Alex Locke, Golf Carmen Villaverde, Golf
McKendree Nick Foster, Wrestling Alex Tinnin, Volleyball/Tennis
Missouri S&T Wil Crutcher, Track & Field Ellen Schulz, Volleyball
Missouri-St. Louis Reilly Ahearn, Golf Lauren Lottmann, Soccer
Quincy Carter Naughton, Baseball Marissa Gonzalez, Volleyball
Rockhurst Jake Eisenbarger, Baseball Kalie Arnold, Volleyball
Southern Indiana Jacob Norman, Basketball Ryley Hancock, Soccer
Truman Taurin Hughes, Basketball Savvy Hughes, Volleyball
William Jewell Ryan Hoffman, Outdoor Track & Field Anna Biondo, Softball