Samm Chandler - Averett University
Chandler, a standout on the Cougar women's basketball team, concluded her collegiate career in 2018 as Averett's all-time leading scorer and shot-blocker. She was a four-time USA South All-Conference performer and two-time D3hoops.com All-Region selection. Chandler was named the 2017-18 Division III Women's Basketball Academic All-American of the Year by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). She also collected Academic All-America First Team honors in 2017-18, making her the first Cougar in any sport to be named a three-time Academic All-American by CoSIDA. In the classroom, Chandler was a double-major in biomedical science and sports medicine with a 3.97 cumulative grade point average. The five-time USA South Academic All-Conference selection and member of Chi Alpha Sigma national college athlete honor society was been accepted into the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine following graduation from Averett this spring. Chandler also made her mark in the community as the three-year president of Averett's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as well as serving as an academic tutor and giving prospective students tours as a campus ambassador.
Evan Ezell - Maryville College
Ezell was a four-year member of the Scot baseball team. He carried a batting average above .300 for his career having played in over 30 games each season as a catcher. Ezell was named to the 2016 USA South All-Tournament Team, was a College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic Southeast All-District Baseball Team honoree in 2016 and appeared on the USA South Academic All-Conference Team each year on campus. Academically, Ezell accumulated a 3.93 GPA, majoring in Computer Science. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Tennessee's Bredesen Center Data Science and Engineering PhD Program. Ezell plans to focus specifically on urban systems science applications and how we can better understand large data sets using machine learning, computer vision and various other data mining techniques. On campus, Ezell was an active member of the Student-Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), served as President of the Association for Computing Machinery for two years and a Scots Science Scholar Peer Mentor for four years. In the community, he volunteered at the Girls and Boys Club of Blount County, hosted high school programming competitions and volunteered at several youth baseball events.
Past Winners (Click on their name to learn more, if available):