Former Belmont University women’s basketball head coach and current Senior Woman Administrator Betty Wiseman was among five Belmont Bruins recognized at the 11th Annual O’Charley’s Dinner of Champions Monday night. Wiseman, whose efforts were instrumental in the beginning of women’s college basketball in the southeast, received the Fred Russell Lifetime Achievement Award. A member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and honored by the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Wiseman was a four-time Coach of the Year and won 248 games in 16 seasons. She has been a Belmont institution since 1961.
Belmont men’s basketball head coach Rick Byrd and former Bruin great Justin Hare were nominated for the Ed Temple Amateur Athletics Award. Byrd and Hare spearheaded Belmont’s drive to a third consecutive Atlantic Sun Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008. Former Bruin cross country standout Kipkosgei Magut was also nominated for the Community Spirit Award, in large part to his leadership in the ‘Girls on the Run’ after-school running program.
Belmont freshman softball pitcher Devon Schmidt was one of five finalists for the High School Female Athlete of the Year award. Schmidt, who led Goodpasture High School to a fifth consecutive state title, has made an immediate impact on the mound for the Bruins.Lastly, Belmont men’s basketball’s performance against Duke in the 2008 NCAA Tournament was listed No. 3 among the Top 10 Sports Moments of 2008. The event was hosted by the Nashville Sports Council and held at the Renaissance Hotel.