INDIANAPOLIS -- Loyola men’s basketball player Walt Gibler (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) and women’s basketball star Julie Wojta (Francis Creek, Wis./Mishicot) of Green Bay have been named the recipients of the Horizon League’s 2011-12 Cecil N. Coleman Medal of Honor.
The Horizon League’s highest individual honor, the Coleman Award is presented annually to the League’s top male and female student-athletes who best exemplify the dignity and high purpose of the League and its membership. The individuals demonstrate outstanding achievement in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities. Candidates must be seniors who have exhausted their eligibility and were participants on the varsity level in a League-sponsored sport. In addition, nominees must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale, or its equivalent.
Gibler becomes the 5th Rambler all-time to collect the Coleman Award and the third on the men’s side. Gibler joins Jason Telford (2004) as Loyola men’s basketball players to capture the honor.
The 6’7” forward is one of only 18 players in Loyola history to record over 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in his career. He averaged 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds, both career bests, per game in the 2011-12 season. He had four double-doubles in his senior season and scored a career-high 29 points against DePaul. He was named the Horizon League Sixth Man of the Year in 2009-10 when he averaged 11.3 points per game and 5.3 rebounds.
Holding a 3.73 GPA and graduating with a degree in Psychology, Gibler was named to the I-AAA Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete Team in 2012 and was a two-time member of the National Jesuit Men’s Basketball All-Academic Team (2009-10 and 2011-12). He was also a two-time member of the National Basketball Coaches Association Honors Court, as well as a member of the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll and was selected onto the 2011-12 Horizon League Men’s Basketball All-Academic team.
Along with being a three-time U.S. Army Horizon League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Month recipient, Gibler participated in the Rambler Reading Program in which Loyola players went to area grade schools to work with kids. He also volunteered at Misericordia, a service provider that cares for children and adults challenged by mental and physical disabilities, and served as a mentor for children at an inner-city public school as part of the Big Buddies Program.
Wojta is the sixth Green Bay student-athlete to earn the Coleman Medal, joining Chari Nordgaard (1999), Kristy Loiselle (2003) and Kayla Tetschlag (2011) as Phoenix women’s basketball players to capture the honor.
The 2012 Horizon League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, who also maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA her senior season, Wojta was a John R. Wooden All-American selection and Associated Press Second Team All-American selection after averaging 19.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game for a Green Bay squad that finished the season 31-2. Following the season, she became the first WNBA draft pick in Horizon League history when the Minnesota Lynx selected her with the 18th pick overall.
Off the court, Wojta graduated with a 3.618 GPA, majoring in Accounting and Business Administration. The senior was a Capital One Second-Team Academic All-America selection, as well as a CoSIDA Academic All-District 6 selection.
Always willing to sign autographs for fans after games, Wojta volunteered at the Big Event for Little Kids, Phoenix Phenoms and Packer Pals, Alzheimer’s Walk, Freedom House and reading days at local elementary schools. Her actions on and off the court made her the recipient of the Chancellor’s Leadership Medallion.
Each Horizon League institution has the opportunity to nominate a male and female student-athlete for the Coleman Medal of Honor. Nominees for the 2012 award included Ronald Nored (basketball) and Michele Nash (golf) of Butler; Yannick Goossens (tennis) and Carys Behn (swimming) of Cleveland State; Detroit’s Aviram Campbell (track & field) and Alexandra Suschak (soccer); Green Bay’s Paul Swanson (tennis); Lauren Arceneaux (softball) of Loyola; Milwaukee’s Sam Keele (swimming) and Kristi Schuette (cross country/track & field); Moriba Diallo (soccer) and Clair Martin (swimming) of UIC; Valparaiso’s Wei Ming Wong (soccer) and Alex Lagesse (softball); Jake Hibberd (baseball) and Cassandra Lloyd (track and field) of Wright State; and Youngstown State’s Jeremy Banks (baseball) and Haley Thomas (softball).
Tags: Green Bay - Women's Basketball · Loyola - Men's Basketball