Oct. 16, 2006
Swimmer Doug Van Wie and distance runner Angela Homan have been selected to receive the highest awards an Auburn student-athlete can receive, the Cliff Hare Award and the Leah Rawls Atkins Award.
Van Wie and Homan received their awards during ceremonies at Auburn's football game against Florida last Saturday. Van Wie received the Cliff Hare Award and Homan the Leah Rawls Atkins Award. Both awards are given annually to senior student-athletes "who, in addition to athletic and scholarship achievement, exhibit in great degree the qualities of leadership, integrity and courage."
The Cliff Hare Award is given in memory of Clifford Leroy Hare, a member of Auburn's first football team, professor of chemistry, president of the Southern Conference and longtime chairman of Auburn's Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Leah Rawls Atkins Award is presented in honor of Dr. Leah Rawls Atkins, noted Alabama historian, world champion water skier and the first woman in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. She also served as Director of the Auburn University Center for the Arts and Humanities.
Both awards are presented in the Auburn belief that "athletics make men strong, study makes men wise, and character makes men great."
Van Wie is the eighth men's swimmer to win the award. The previous men's swimming winners include Gary Schatz (1977), Rowdy Gaines (1981), Rodney Bowman (1988), Geoff Answini (1991), Matt Busbee (2000), Jeff Somensatto (2001) and B.J. Jones (2005).
Homan, meanwhile, is the third women's track and field athlete to win the prestigious honor, joining Sissy Costner (1990) and Rachel Sauder (1996).
"Doug and Angela represent the highest ideals of Auburn University and the athletic department as outlined in the Auburn Creed," said Jay Jacobs, athletic director at Auburn. "We have exemplary student-athletes at Auburn and Doug and Angela represent the best of the best."
Van Wie ended his career at Auburn as a 17-time All-American in addition to serving as co-team captain for the Auburn men during the 2005-06 season. As a senior, he finished second at the NCAA Championships in the 100 backstroke with a time of 46.22. Van Wie concluded his Auburn career with five NCAA individual championships.
Van Wie received the bronze medal in the 800 free relay at the 2005 World University Games and was a finalist in the 200 backstroke at the 2004 Olympic Trials.
The Charlotte, N.C., native was a member of four NCAA Team Championships and ended his career with the Tigers having never lost a dual, SEC or NCAA meet - the only class in team history to accomplish the feat.
Out of the pool, the graphic design major earned CSCAA Academic All-America honors and was named to the SEC Honor Roll, ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV and earned the Auburn Swimming and Diving Award, given annually to the student-athlete who demonstrates scholarship, leadership and performance.
Van Wie is currently training to swim in the 2007 World University Games to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, next summer.
Homan is one of the most acclaimed distance runners in school history. In 2005, she became just the second woman in SEC history to win three conference cross country individual championships. She is also the second cross country athlete - male or female - to win the SEC Athlete of the Year Award three times and was also a part of the 2006 Women's Track and Field NCAA Championship team, the first in Auburn's history.
Homan finished her career with seven All-American titles in track and cross country and seven SEC titles. She set school records in the 10,000-meter and 5,000-meter runs during the 2006 outdoor season.
Off the track, Homan, who majored in exercise science, was a four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll honoree and was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American. Homan also earned CSTV Athlete of the Week honors and was honored with Auburn University's Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award (community-service and academics based) and Auburn University's Presidential Award of Excellence. In addition, Homan was a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honor Society for two years and made the Dean's list all four years at Auburn.
While at Auburn, Homan volunteered in programs such as Project Uplift, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, the Human Performance Center, Toys for Tots, Auburn vs. Alabama Canned Food Drive and the Special Olympics.
Currently, Homan, a Spencerville, Ohio, native is enrolled at Duke University and is pursuing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.