Beliveau, McNally named Jim Urquhart Student-Athletes of the Year

Denise Beliveau
Jim Urquhart
of the Year

Brian McNally
Jim Urquhart
of the Year

Brice Paey
Tina True
Memorial Award

Kate Early
Tina True
Memorial Award

Paul Atkinson
Athletic Director's Award
for Academic Excellence
Community Involvement

Jacky Mendes
Athletic Director's Award
for Academic Excellence

Jessy Dick
Community Involvement

Photo Gallery

Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) of the women’s basketball team and Brian McNally (Cornwall, N.Y.) of the football team were named the 2011-12 recipients of the Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year award by the University of New Hampshire athletic department. The presentation was made during Tuesday night’s Senior Awards Banquet at Holloway Commons.

The Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year award, which was established in 1999, is named in memory of longtime UNH coach and administrator Jim Urquhart, who coached the men’s lacrosse team for 17 seasons and mentored the wrestling program for 11 seasons. He served as the University’s associate athletic director of event management from 1997 until he passed away after suffering a heart attack Jan. 14, 1998. The Urquhart award is bestowed upon senior student-athletes who excel in both athletic competition and in the classroom, as well as possessing great character, sportsmanship and a passion for sports.

Beliveau, who graduated in 2010 with a degree in Exercise Science and is working toward a graduate degree in leadership and children's health and disabilities, will go down as one of the top players in the history of the women’s basketball program. An all-around competitor, Beliveau was named the team’s most valuable player for the second straight season after leading the squad in rebounding/game (8.6) and adding 14.1 points per game. Beliveau, an America East All-Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team selection, was the only player in the league to rank in the top-five in both scoring and rebounding. The team co-captain led the Wildcats to their first winning season since 2006 and etched her name throughout the program’s record books. She ended her UNH career ranked sixth in scoring (1,365 points), fourth in rebounding (843) and third in steals (201). Earlier this season, she became the 16th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark. Beliveau was also highly successful in the classroom, as she was named to the America East All-Academic Team for the second time in as many seasons. Beliveau was recognized on a national level after being named to the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Second Team. She was one of one of 10 national finalists from Division I institutions recognized for a commitment to excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community.

McNally, who graduated in December with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology: Physical Education Pedagogy, concluded his UNH career as one of the most fearsome pass rushers in school history. The 22-year-old collected 27.5 career sacks over his four years and established the University’s all-time, single-season record with 13.5 sacks as a junior in 2010. The 6-foot-3, 272-pound defensive end was a two-time member of the CAA All-Conference First Team, twice garnered FCS All-New England Team recognition and also was feted as an ECAC First Team All-Star in back-to-back seasons; all honors were for the 2010 and ’11 seasons. McNally, who signed a free agent contract with the NFL’s Washington Redskins last week, tallied 26 tackles and amassed a team-leading 7.5 sacks this past year to earn College Sports Journal FCS All-America Honorable Mention, the prestigious Bill Bowes Coaches Award and membership on the CAA Academic All-Conference Team. As a junior, the Cornwall, N.Y., native was tabbed a College Sporting News Sweet-63 All-America and was selected to Phil Steele’s FCS All-America Third Team. He was named the 2008 CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year after emerging as a force on the Wildcats’ defensive line to record 55 tackles and a team-leading 8.5 tackles for loss as a redshirt freshman.

The Tina True Memorial Award, handed out annually since 2007 to two Wildcat student-athletes for their commitment to strength and conditioning, was presented to Brice Paey (Milton, N.H.) of the men’s track & field team and Kate Early (Corning, N.Y.), who competed for the women’s track & field team and the women’s basketball team. Paey recently captured his fourth America East outdoor shot put title at last weekend’s championship meet and also claimed the indoor league title in the event over the winter. A former NCAA Regional qualifier, Paey broke the 60-foot mark this past indoor season and owns both the indoor and outdoor school records in the event. Early, a multi-event specialist, finished third in the heptathlon at the America East Championships. Last season, Early finished second overall in the heptathlon at the league championship meet, setting a school record with 4,713 points. As a four-year member of the basketball team, she provided a strong defensive presence and was named the Wildcats’ most improved player as a senior in 2010-11. The Tina True Memorial Award is named in memory of the co-captain and coxswain of the UNH women’s rowing team from 2000-02 whose life was tragically cut short in an automobile accident.

The Athletic Director’s Award for Academic Excellence, presented annually since 2010, went to Paul Atkinson (Toronto, Ontario) of the men’s skiing team and Jacky Mendes (Dayton, Maine) of the women’s track & field squad. The duo was feted as the student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average. Atkinson, who crafted a cumulative 3.77 GPA as an economics major, is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, the Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society and the Atkins Investment Group, a completely student-managed investment fund at UNH’s Whittemore School of Business. Mendes, who boasted a 3.98 GPA as a sports studies major, is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Golden Key International Honor Society. A two-year member of the Leadership Development Program, Mendes is a captain of the women's track & field team and is the coordinator for the program's volunteer-based food drive.

The Community Involvement Award, which debuted in 2011, was bestowed upon Atkinson and volleyball player Jessy Dick (Lethbridge, Alberta). Atkinson, a three-year member of SAAC, served as the organization’s co-president in 2011-12. SAAC acts as a liaison between the athletic administration and student-athletes, promotes UNH athletics in a positive way around campus, in Durham and throughout the seacoast area, organizes community service projects and builds community within the Athletics Department by involving all teams in activities, events and educational programs. Atkinson, the men’s alpine ski team captain, was UNH’s America East SAAC representative and served as the league’s SAAC President this year. In addition, he organized a Toys for Tots fundraiser and helped coordinate the Hoops for Hunger fundraising basketball tournament. Dick is also a two-year member of SAAC. The Alberta native has participated in numerous community programs throughout her four years, including the development of UNH Basic Injustice, a group on campus designed to engage students in the issues of global injustice as well as provide possible fundraising and awareness solutions.

In addition to Beliveau, the other women’s nominees for the Urquhart award were Ali Carr (Chelmsford, Mass.; gymnastics), Whitney Frates (Woodstock, Vt.; field hockey), Amy Keding (Northbrook, Ill.; volleyball) and Allison Letourneau (Kingston, Nova Scotia; cross country, track & field).

In addition to McNally, the other men’s nominees for the Urquhart award were Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; basketball), Zach Clayton (Manassas, Va.; skiing), Brad Hilton (Merrimack, N.H.; soccer) and Paey.

Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year
1999- Jerry Azumah (football), Jason Krog (men's ice hockey), Melanie Morin (women's cross country, track)
2000- Orsi Farkas (women's basketball), Kyle Schneck (men's cross country, track), Mike Souza (men's hockey)
2001- Colleen Christopher (women's lacrosse), Ty Conklin (men's hockey), Ryan DiNunzio (men's soccer), Andrea Encarnacao (women's soccer)
2002- Amy DeCamp (women's cross country, track), Darren Haydar (men's hockey)
2003- Greg Blaisdell (men's skiing), Marcie Boyer (field hockey)
2004- Lesley Read (women's track/cross country), Steve Saviano (men's hockey)
2005- Chiara Best (women's soccer), Ben Sturgill (men's basketball)
2006- Amanda Hall (gymnastics), Derek Stank (football)
2007- David Ball (football), Danielle Clark (women’s basketball)
2008- Cathy Parker (women’s cross country/track), Kevin Regan (men’s ice hockey), Ricky Santos (football)
2009- Kacey Bellamy (women’s ice hockey), Sean McNamara (men’s skiing)
2010- Veronique Archambault-Leger (women's skiing), Bobby Butler (men's ice hockey)
2011- Rita Ciambra (women’s track & field), Colin O’Donnell (men’s soccer)
2012 – Denise Beliveau (women’s basketball), Brian McNally (football)

Tina True Memorial Award
2007- Aaron Brown (football), Erin Moore (women’s track & field)
2008- Emmy Blouin (volleyball), Jeff Pammer (football)
2009- Kacey Bellamy (women’s ice hockey), Tom Bishop (football)
2010- Willie Ford (men's skiing), Ashlee Lathrop (women's track & field)
2011- Paul DeTurk (men’s track & field), Sara Heldman (volleyball)
2012 - Kate Early (women’s track & field, basketball), Brice Paey (men’s track & field)

Athletic Director's Award for Academic Excellence
2010- Ben Jenkins (men's cross country, track), Ally Yost (women's soccer), Jenny Luoma (women's skiing)
2011- Joe Corsello (men’s soccer), Kaitlyn Dugan (women’s track & field)
2012 – Paul Atkinson (men’s skiing), Jacky Mendes (women’s track & field)

Community Involvement Award
2011 – Joe Corsello (men’s soccer), Kaitlyn Dugan (women’s track & field)
2012 – Paul Atkinson (men’s skiing), Jessy Dick (volleyball)

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