RENO, Nev. — Colin Kaepernick and Tahnee Robinson have been named the 2010-11 Doc Martie & Ruth I. Russell Award winners as the University of Nevada's top male and female senior student-athletes, Director of Athletics Cary Groth announced Monday.
“I can’t think of two more deserving recipients of our athletics department's most prestigious awards than Colin Kaepernick and Tahnee Robinson,” Groth said. “Both student-athletes turned in outstanding athletics career, making their mark in the school record books and bringing national prestige to the University of Nevada. They have excelled in competition, the classroom and the community and are truly great representatives of what student-athletes should be.”
The awards were named for J.E. “Doc” Martie, a former Nevada men's basketball coach and administrator, and Ruth I. Russell, a former director of women's athletics. Student-athletes are nominated by their head coaches and must be in their final year of eligibility and in good academic standing. The award winners are chosen in a vote by the athletics department staff.
A quarterback from Turlock, Calif., Kaepernick turned in arguably the best career by a student-athlete in the 104-year history of the Wolf Pack football program. He helped Nevada to a 13-1 record, a top 15 national ranking, a Western Athletic Conference co-championship and a victory in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in his senior season. He also earned All-America honors from several publications and was named the WAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career in 2010 (also in 2008). A three-time All-WAC honoree and two-time WAC All-Academic selection, Kaepernick set numerous school, conference and national records throughout his Nevada career, appearing the Wolf Pack record book 36 times. He became the first quarterback in NCAA history to rush for more than 4,000 yards and throw for more than 9,000 yards in a career. He is also the only player in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 yards and throw for 2,000 yards in three consecutive seasons and tied Eric Crouch of Nebraska for the national record for touchdowns by a quarterback with 59. He set school career records for conventional scoring, touchdowns (rushing, passing and total) and total offense. Kaepernick earned his degree in management in December of 2010 and was taken in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
“Colin is a very gifted and talented young man who always represented our program and university in the highest degree. His career, on and off the field, has been extraordinary to say the least. His leadership, athletic ability and competitive attitude separated him from most,” Wolf Pack football coach Chris Ault said. “He truly was a champion in all respects and is a very deserving recipient of the Doc Martie Award. We’re all very proud of him; he will be a wonderful ambassador for our university and football program.”
A guard from Fort Washakie, Wyo., Robinson became one of the most prolific women’s basketball student-athletes ever to wear the Silver and Blue. She led Nevada to the best season in school history with a 22-11 record and a second-round appearance in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament in 2010-11. She spent her senior season ranked in the top 15 in the nation in scoring, ending the year ranked ninth in the NCAA with 22.1 points per game. Robinson was also named one of five finalists for the Sullivan Award, which is annually presented to the nation’s top amateur athlete. A two-time first-team All-WAC honoree, she was named a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-Region 7 selection and ranked in the nation’s top 20 for three-pointers per game and three-point percentage in 2011. The 2009-10 WAC Newcomer of the Year, Robinson topped the 1,000-point mark and appears in the Nevada recordbook 17 times after just two seasons, most notably ranking second in all-time career three-pointers made and three-point percentage. Robinson is on pace to earn her degree in general studies this summer and became the first player in school history to be selected in the WNBA Draft when she was taken by the Phoenix Suns and traded to the Connecticut Sun in the third round this year.
“Tahee has been a true ambassador for the university, the city of Reno and Native Americans across the country. She was the team captain and MVP and led us to the best season in the history of our program,” Nevada women’s basketball coach Jane Albright said. “Her influence will continue as she begins her professional career, but she will always be a member of our Pack.”