DURHAM, N.C. – Four Duke student-athletes – Tanner Anderson, Juliet Bottorff, Ross Cockrell and Perry Simmons – have been selected as recipients of the Weaver-James-Corrigan Award, as announced Tuesday by Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John D. Swofford.
The ACC named Anderson (Track & Field), Bottorff (Track & Field) and Simmons (Football) as recipients of the postgraduate scholarship award, while Cockrell (Football) was named an honorary recipient of the Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Award.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan and Jim and Pat Thacker scholarships are awarded to selected student-athletes - three from each league institution - who intend to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergraduate requirements. Each recipient will receive $5,000 to contribute to their graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and his/her respective sports, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
In addition to those receiving scholarship funds, six ACC student-athletes -- including Cockrell -- will receive the Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Award. These six will be recognized for their outstanding academic and athletic performance.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan Award is named in honor of the late Jim Weaver and Bob James, as well as Gene Corrigan, the first three ACC commissioners. The league’s first commissioner, James H. Weaver, served the conference from 1954-70 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 in that capacity 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, which 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 given 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 postgraduate studies at an ACC institution.
The 50 student-athletes will be honored at the annual ACC Postgraduate Luncheon presented by ESPN on April 16, 2014, in the Guilford Ballroom at the Sheraton Greensboro at the Four Seasons.
Tanner Anderson; Duke; Biology; Men’s Track & Field; Valdese, N.C. Tanner Anderson earned a myriad of awards as a high jump specialist for the Duke men’s track and field team. As a freshman, Anderson not only became the first Duke high jumper to break the 7’ barrier but also captured the IC4A title after posting the fifth-best mark in the nation at 7-4.25 (2.24). An All-ACC Outdoor selection in 2011 and 2012, Anderson set school records in the indoor and outdoor high jumps while also receiving All-ACC Academic honors in 2012 and 2013. Anderson also earned a spot on the ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2011 and 2012.
Juliet Bottorff; Duke; Neuroscience; Women’s Cross Country; Newark, Del. Two-time cross country All-America honoree, Juliet Bottorff, saw one of the most successful cross country careers in Duke history. In addition to posting two top-30 performances at the national cross country meet, Bottorff earned both All-Southeast Region and All-ACC accolades in cross country in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. Bottorff captured the ACC Championship in 2013, marking the first time since 2005 a Blue Devil won the event. Bottorff proved equally prosperous in the classroom, earning the 2012 ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year award and garnering All-ACC academic team recognition all four years she competed.
Ross Cockrell; Duke; Political Science; Football; Waxhaw, N.C. (Honorary) One of the finest defensive backs in ACC history, Ross Cockrell twice captained Duke to bowl games in 2012 and 2013. As a senior, he earned his second straight first team All-ACC citation as the Blue Devils won a school record 10 games, captured the ACC’s Coastal Division crown and earned a berth in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. One of just 17 football players in league history to earn Academic All-ACC honors four times, Cockrell closed his 49-game career with 233 tackles, 12 interceptions and a school record 42 pass breakups.
Perry Simmons; Duke; Civil Engineering; Football; Raleigh, N.C. A two-time All-ACC selection at offensive tackle, Perry Simmons was named the recipient of the 2013 Jim Tatum Award as the league’s top senior scholar-athlete for football. Also a National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete, he helped Duke to a school record 10 wins in his final campaign including the ACC’s Coastal Division Championship and an appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Also a two-time Academic All-American, Simmons started 50 consecutive games for the Blue Devils, guiding Duke to back-to-back bowl game berths for the first time in school history.