Feb. 24, 2006
GREENSBORO, N.C. – David Castillo (football), Andrew Diakos (track & field), Garrett Johnson (track & field) and LaKendra McColumn (track & field) were among the 36 Atlantic Coast Conference scholar-athletes to be named recipients of postgraduate scholarships, as announced by Commissioner John D. Swofford. The Weaver-James-Corrigan and Jim and Pat Thacker scholarships are given to selected student-athletes who intend to pursue a graduate-level degree following graduation. Each recipient will receive $5,000 to use towards his or her graduate education. Student-athletes receiving the award have performed with distinction in both the classroom and in their respective sports, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
In addition to those receiving scholarship funds, eight student-athletes will receive Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Awards. These students will be recognized for their outstanding performance in both athletic competition and the classroom throughout their collegiate careers and intend to compete at the Olympic or professional level.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan award is named in honor of the late Jim Weaver and Bob James as well as Gene Corrigan, all former ACC commissioners. The league’s first commissioner, James H. Weaver, served the conference from 1954 to 1970 after a stint as the Director of Athletics at Wake Forest University. His early leadership and uncompromising integrity are largely responsible for the excellent reputation enjoyed by the ACC today.
Robert C. James, a former University of Maryland football player, was named commissioner in 1971 and served for 16 years. During his tenure, the league continued to grow in stature and became recognized as a national leader in athletics and academics, winning 23 national championships and maintaining standards of excellence in the classroom.
Eugene F. Corrigan assumed his role as the third full-time commissioner on September 1, 1987, and served until August of 1997. During Corrigan’s tenure, ACC schools captured 30 NCAA championships and two national football titles.
Prior to 1994, the Weaver-James postgraduate scholarships were given as separate honors. The Jim Weaver award, originated in 1970, recognized exceptional achievement on the playing field and in the classroom, while the Bob James award, established in 1987, also honored outstanding student-athletes.
The Thacker award, which originated in 2005, is awarded in honor of the late Jim and Pat Thacker of Charlotte, N.C. Jim Thacker was the primary play-by-play announcer for the ACC’s first television network. Recipients of the award must demonstrate outstanding performance both in athletic competition and in the classroom and intend to further their education through post-graduate studies at an ACC institution.
Recipients of the Weaver-James-Corrigan Awards are as follows: Boston College – Kristen E. Madden (field hockey), Brooke C. Queenan (basketball); Clemson – Ashlee M. Brown (rowing), Nichole M. Carlton (swimming & diving), Bradley L. Gibson (soccer); Duke – Brendan Dewan (football), Nicole Dudek (field hockey); Florida State – Jose David Castillo (football), Andrew Joseph Diakos (track & field), LaKendra McColumn (track & field); Georgia Tech – Steven Eric Blackwood (baseball), Ashley Annette Kracke (swimming), Shanta Smith (track & field); Maryland – Kimberly Marie Francis (soccer), Brendan Michael Healy (lacrosse), Mandy Miguela Pascual (gymnastics); Miami – Rachel Joy Clausing (rowing), Kaitlin Day Kozak (volleyball), Melanie Gail Marie Schultz (cross country/indoor & outdoor track); North Carolina – Courtney J. Bumpers (gymnastics), Katy Beth Tran (field hockey); NC State – Molly A. Culberson (swimming & diving), Stefani Tramaine Eddins (volleyball), Adeola Adekunbi Kosoko (volleyball); Virginia – Katherine Avery Gordon (swimming), Jane Tyler Leachman (lacrosse), Matthew Blair Ward (lacrosse); Virginia Tech – Anat Elazari (tennis), Melissa Marie Markowski (volleyball), Carrie Ann Mason (basketball); Wake Forest – Anne Golden Bersagel (cross country/track & field); Sarah Lynne Kozey (soccer), Ariel Clare Meyers (field hockey).
Recipients of the Jim and Pat Thacker Awards are as follows: Boston College – Daniel C. Berglund (football); Duke – Kathryn Diane Ness (swimming); North Carolina – Laura Lynn Gerraughty (track & field).
Recipients of the Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Awards are as follows: Clemson – Lida Ledford (soccer); Duke – Ludovic Walter (tennis); Florida State – Garrett W. Johnson (track & field); Maryland – Jason Robert Garey (soccer); North Carolina – Lindsay A. Tarpley (soccer); NC State – Ilian Iliev Evtimov (basketball); Virginia – Connor Raymond Hughes (football); Virginia Tech – James Nathaniel Anderson (football).
The 44 student-athletes will be honored April 13, 2006, in Greensboro, N.C., at a luncheon hosted by the Nat Greene Kiwanis Club. The luncheon will be held at the Koury Convention Center.
David Castillo was a three-year starter at center for the Florida State football team who the coaches counted on to make the proper calls at the line of scrimmage … Played in 11 games in 2005, starting all of them … Missed the Boston College and The Citadel games due to a foot injury which required surgery but returned in time for the Syracuse game … Named a 2005 ESPN The Magazine Academic second team All-American – one of just two players from the ACC to be honored … 2005 National Football Foundation $18,000 postgraduate scholarship winner as a finalist for the Draddy Trophy billed as the “Academic Heisman.”
Andrew Joseph Diakos is the top hammer and weight thrower for the Florida State nationally-ranked track and field team… Two-time All-ACC hammer thrower … Three-time NCAA East Region qualifier … Earned conference honors after a second-place hammer throw in 2004 and third-place in 2005 … Second on the Seminoles’ all-time top performers with a mark of 200’4″ … Leads all FSU throwers this season with a career-best mark of 64’1″.
LaKendra McColumn is FSU’s top hurdler and has been a versatile member of relays for the past two seasons … Three-time All-ACC hurdler … Three-time NCAA East Region qualifier in as many seasons … Seventh all-time in the 400m hurdles with a time of 57.85 … All-ACC Honor Roll recipient in 2003 and 2004 … Top Six For Service Award winner… 2005 FSU Golden Nole Award recipient.
Garrett W. Johnson is the top shot putter in Florida State school history and ranks second all-time in the discus … 2006 Rhodes Scholar … 2005 Indoor All-American in the shot put … Currently leads the conference and the nation in the shot put … 2005 ESPN The Magazine Second-Team Academic All-American … Two-time NCAA East Region Champion … Six-time All-ACC honoree … President of FSU Student Athletic Advisory Council (SAAC) and vice-president of Seminole Student Boosters … First-team Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar.