COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) has awarded four Lumberjacks with their annual All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year awards.
Football senior Jarret Bilbrey, men's basketball senior Michael Dunn, volleyball senior Kelli Dallmann, and women's soccer sophomore Diane Buzzard were among 229 collegiate and high school athletes from 98 schools to receive the esteemed award. The awards were presented by the NSCA for the 34th consecutive year, recognizing student-athlete dedication to strength training and conditioning.
"The advantages of strength training and conditioning cannot be denied in collegiate and high school athletics," NSCA founder Boyd Epley said. "The NSCA is pleased to recognize student-athletes that put forth an effort to improve their performance through strength and conditioning. They are to be applauded for their hard work and dedication."
Bilbrey, a two year starter on the defensive line from San Diego, Calif., graduated in December with a degree in sociology. He was a four-year contributor on NAU's defense and totaled 88 tackles and 12 sacks over his junior and senior seasons.
"Jarret Bilbrey has been dedicated to the weight room for four years," NAU head strength and conditioning coach Cody Hodgeson said. "He made gains with his maxes, speed, and body weight every year. He was an inspiration to his team and a leader both on and off the field."
A recent graduate from a Chandler, Ariz. with a degree in psychology, Dunn went from a walk-on to one of the most productive members on the NAU basketball team over the last two seasons and provided NAU with a pair of buzzer-beater wins during his senior season.
"Michael Dunn pushed himself and his teammates under the most adverse conditions and not only set himself apart as a leader in the weight room but also worked his way to a starting position on his team," Hodgeson said. "Michael's effort and attitude has shown through in all areas of his life and has crossed over to other athletes. He is motivating to all who come in contact with him and he improves the work quality in the room every time he comes in."
Dallmann graduated last week with a degree in health sciences – public health after she was a two-time All-Big Sky selection and the Big Sky Freshman of the Year in 2009. The Peoria, Ariz. native earned three Academic All-Big Sky honors and finished her career fourth in program history with 48 double-doubles and is sixth all-time in assists.
"Kelli Dallmann has excelled on and off the court over her four-year career," Hodgeson said. "By challenging herself on a daily basis she has been able to maximize her athletic abilities. Dallmann's commitment to the strength and conditioning program led to an injury-free career and she positively influenced those around her to be successful."
The only NAU undergraduate to receive the NSCA All-American award in 2013, Buzzard has been among NAU's top defenders in each of her first two seasons in the Lumberjack soccer program. The Flagstaff native was a Capital One First Team Academic All-District 8 selection in 2012 and started 17 games during her sophomore season as a part of the Lumberjack defense that recorded eight shutouts.
"Diane Buzzard has show superior dedication to enhancing her on-field performance with 100% attendance throughout the entire 2012 offseason that included summer and winter breaks," Hodgeson said. "She has earned the respect of her teammates by training at her maximum ability level each and every day. Her positive attitude and consistent work ethic are what sets her apart from others."
Hodgeson is extremely proud of NAU's four honorees and their commitment to making themselves and their teammates better.
"They worked really hard throughout the year and were leaders both in the weight room and on the field and court," Hodgeson said. "I wish we could nominate more for this award but they were the standouts from a great group of student-athletes. They stood out the most in ways that coaches don't always get to know about such as voluntary summer workouts. They deserved this award and really worked for it and I'm proud of them to receive it."