FOOTBALL: Adding to a growing list of preseason honors, two BYU offensive linemen, senior Matt Reynolds and junior Braden Hansen, have been named to the Outland Trophy Preseason Watch List, an award presented annually to the nation's best offensive or defensive lineman.
Athlon Sports, Lindy's Sports and Sporting News have already honored Reynolds as a Preseason Football All-American First Team selection. A 6-foot-6, 322-pound left tackle, Reynolds enters his senior year as one of the nation's top lineman after deciding not to enter this year's NFL Draft. A three-year starter and two-time first-team all- conference honoree, Reynolds also received Preseason All-America Second Team honors in Phil Steele's College Football Preview.
As a sophomore last year, Hansen collected honors as a College Football News All-Sophomore Team honorable mention as well as an All- MWC honorable mention and Phil Steele's All-Mountain West Second Team. In his freshman season, the 6-foot-6, 310-pound left guard was named to the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America First team and Phil Steele's All-Freshman First Team while receiving College Football News Freshman Team honorable mention.
BYU has had two Outland Trophy winners, with offensive guard Mohammed Elewonibi claiming the trophy in 1989 and defensive lineman Jason Buck winning in 1986.
The Outland Trophy, presented annually since 1946, is the third oldest award in major college football. The winner of the 66th Outland Trophy, named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn and Kansas at the turn of the century, will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 8 on ESPN.
The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, will be held on Jan. 12, 2012, in Omaha, Neb.
ADMINISTRATION: Director of Athletics Scott Barnes announced Friday that four head coaches — Heather Cairns (Women's Soccer), Grayson DuBose (Volleyball), Gregg Gensel (Track & Field/Cross Country) and Jeff Richards (Gymnastics) — have received contract extensions to remain at USU.
Gensel signed a 10-year extension keeping him at Utah State through the 2020-2021 academic year, while Cairns and DuBose both received four-year contract extensions through the 2014 season. Richards signed a two-year extension that runs through 2012-13.
"I have said that athletics is to Utah State University what the front porch is to one's home. It's not the most important room in the house but it is the most visible. We couldn't be more proud of the coaches and student-athletes who stand on our front porch representing us every day," stated Barnes.
"The long-term commitment by this group of coaches, along with the others we have recently extended, provides Aggie Athletics with tremendous stability and a bright future moving forward. All have earned coach of the year honors, won championships or guided their respective programs to postseason opportunities. And our student-athletes are succeeding at a high level in the classroom," Barnes added.
Gensel, who just completed his 23rd season as the men's head track & field coach and 18th year as the women's head track & field coach, has led Utah State to 33 conference championships during his Aggie career, including 14 Western Athletic Conference Championships in its first six years in the league. Overall, Gensel has earned conference coach of the year honors 29 times.
During the 2010-11 academic year, the Aggie men won both the indoor and outdoor WAC Championships, while the Aggie women finished second during both seasons. USU's women also placed second at this year's WAC Cross Country Championships, while the men placed third.
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