Joining UTSA’s senior quarterback as finalists for the prestigious award are Arizona’s Brigetta Barrett (women’s track & field), Arkansas’ Nathanael Franks (men’s track & field), North Carolina’s Meghan Lyons (field hockey) and Purdue’s Andrea Mingo (women’s basketball).
The 2013 Collegiate Wooden Cup recipient, which is presented annually to the student-athlete who is the most outstanding role model that has made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others, will be announced at a Tuesday, April 23, award ceremony in Atlanta.
Soza, a two-year team captain, has started under center 20 times in UTSA’s first two seasons. The Beeville native has led the Roadrunners to 12 wins during that time as they have made the transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). In November, he was named one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Awards and Recognition Association Sportsmanship Award.
Soza has been just as impressive away from the playing field. He is an active member of UTSA’s community service program in addition to serving as the president of the school’s student-athlete advisory committee and also maintains a near-perfect grade-point average (3.95) in kinesiology.
John Wooden, who won 10 National Championships from 1964-75 as the head men’s basketball coach at UCLA, is regarded as the greatest college coach of any sport. He is universally regarded as one of the finest human beings to ever grace the world of sports and his character, conduct and selfless gifts stand at the highest level by any standard.
When Coach Wooden learned about Athletes for a Better World, he gave authorization to attach his name to this annual award and attended and addressed the inaugural event in Los Angeles back in 2005. In his honor, the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented to two distinguished athletes, one collegiate and one professional, for their character and leadership both on and off the field and for their contributions to sport and society.
With Mia Hamm, John Lynch, Peyton Manning, Dikembe Mutombo, Cal Ripken, Jr., John Smoltz, Pat Summitt and Andrea Yaeger as previous recipients, the Wooden Cup is becoming one of the most prestigious awards in all of sports. Recipients are considered role models and athletes of excellence both on and off the field.
Founded by Athletes for a Better World (ABW), a non-profit organization committed to changing the culture of American sports, the Wooden Cup is unique in that it is open to athletes in all collegiate and professional sports. Nominations are open to every division and conference in college sports.
Recipients of the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup are chosen by a committee chaired by former Georgia Athletics Director Vincent Dooley and other distinguished individuals involved in athletics across the country.