OGDEN, Utah – The Big Sky Conference announced its 2016-17 Scholar-Athlete Award winners today with football's Patrick Baldenegro and women's basketball's Rene Coggins picking up the top honors for Northern Arizona. The duo was also named the Golden Eagle Scholar-Athletes of the Year earlier this semester.
Baldenegro, a native of Chandler, Ariz., graduated in May of this year with a degree in biomedical science after completing his education with a 3.78 cumulative grade point average. The tight end was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree. Recently, he was named the National Football Foundation Valley of the Sun College Scholar-Athlete and is a three-time Big Sky Fall All-Academic Team member. Baldenegro was named to the Dean's List every semester during his Lumberjack career and was a member of the 2013 FCS playoff team.
Coggins, a native of Mesa, Ariz., was a 1,000-point scorer for the Lumberjacks. She was named the top female Scholar Athlete for NAU with a perfect 4.00 cumulative grade point average as a triple major in accountancy, finance and hotel & restaurant management. Coggins is set to graduate in the spring of 2018. Her academic accolades include becoming the first women's basketball player in school history to be voted a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American. The four-time Big Sky All-Academic award winner has been named to the Dean's List each semester of her collegiate career while studying in the NAU Honors College. Coggins was also a nominee for the prestigious national Senior CLASS Award.
Student-athletes were selected by their respective institutions, based upon athletic-and-academic performances during the past academic year.
To qualify for the award, a student-athlete must have a minimum grade-point-average of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale), be a member of the graduating class and/or have completed their last year of intercollegiate athletic eligibility, have completed at least two years of intercollegiate competition and be a letterwinner in their respective sport.