Irving, Texas — Texas track & field multi-event athlete Ashtin Zamzow and Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray were selected as the 2018-19 Big 12 Athletes of the Year. Murray is the sixth OU male athlete and third in the last four seasons to earn this accomplishment. Zamzow is the ninth Longhorn female to claim the award and the first in 10 years.
Nominees are submitted by Big 12 institutions and selected, based on athletic performance, academic achievement and citizenship, by a media panel as well as fan voting conducted through Big12Sports.com.
Zamzow garnered Female Athlete of the Year after setting personal bests in four of seven events (110m hurdles, 200m hurdles, long jump, high jump) en route to a school-record score of 6,222 points and a national title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. In June, she became just the second heptathlete ever to win the NCAA title on her home track at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin. Her point total was the eighth best in history for a collegiate heptathlete and the seventh-best posted at the NCAA Championship. She scored 10 of the Longhorns’ 20 points, guiding UT to a 10th-place finish. At the NCAA Indoor Championship in Birmingham, Alabama, Zamzow tallied 4,294 points in the pentathlon for a third-place finish.
The Goliad, Texas, native was a semifinalist for The Bowerman, which is awarded to the nation’s most outstanding collegiate track & field athlete. Additionally, she was named the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) South Region Field Athlete of the Year.
This past season Zamzow helped the Longhorns to the Big 12 Outdoor Championship crown by winning both the heptathlon and javelin events and guided UT to the indoor title with her victory in the pentathlon. During her career, Zamzow was part of five Big 12 team titles (indoors: 2016, 2018 and 2019; and outdoors: 2016 and 2019).
Academically, the senior excelled as a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team performer (2018 and 2019). She graduated from Texas with a degree in exercise science and a minor in business.
Murray earned Male Athlete of the Year after stepping in and leading the Sooners to another historic season. The signal caller became the first FBS player to average at least 300 passing yards (311.5) and at least 60 rushing yards (71.5) per game for a full season. He was only the second FBS player to ever record at least 4,000 passing yards and at least 1,000 rushing yards in a season. Additionally, the Allen, Texas, native led the nation in total yards (school-record 5,362), points responsible for (324; tied), yards per completion (16.8) and yards per pass attempt (single-season FBS record of 11.6; former record was 11.1). In addition to his individual accomplishments, Murray guided the Sooners to their 12th Big 12 championship and a berth to the College Football Playoff for a second-consecutive year.
At the end of the season, Murray was bestowed with the nation’s top honor as the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner. With 2018 Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year Baker Mayfield earning last year’s trophy, OU also became the first school to produce back-to-back Heisman winners who were quarterbacks. He won multiple awards including the Associated Press Player of the Year, Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Year, Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award and Manning Award. Murray was honored as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and an All-Big 12 First Team selection. He was voted First Team All-American by the AP and the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
In April, Murray was selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals; just a season removed from Mayfield being selected as the top pick. OU is the first school to produce first-round quarterback selections in consecutive seasons. He is the only person ever selected in the first round of both the Major League Baseball and NFL drafts. He was taken No. 9 overall in 2018 by the Oakland Athletics, but announced that he would play football professionally instead of baseball. Academically, Murray was a two-time Academic All-Big 12 Second Team performer (2017, 2018).
Other female candidates for Big 12 Athlete of the Year included Lauren Cox (Baylor), Bridget Carleton (Iowa State), Nina Khmelnitckaia (Kansas), Peyton Williams (Kansas State), Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma), Sinclaire Johnson (Oklahoma State), Destiny Longmire (TCU), Karli Hamilton (Texas Tech) and Bianca St. Georges (West Virginia).
Male nominees were Davis Wendzel (Baylor), Edwin Kurgat (Iowa State), Bryce Hoppel (Kansas), Tejaswin Shankar (Kansas State), Viktor Hovland (Oklahoma State), Chengetayi Mapaya (TCU), Christian Sigsgaard (Texas), Divine Oduduru (Texas Tech) and Will Grier (West Virginia).
Big 12 Athletes of the Year
2018-19 Ashtin Zamzow, Texas Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
2017-18 Maggie Nichols, Oklahoma Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
2016-17 Kadeisha Buchanan, West Virginia Frank Mason III, Kansas & Will Licon, Texas
2015-16 Paige Parker, Oklahoma Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
2014-15 Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
2013-14 Odyssey Sims, Baylor Bryce Petty, Baylor
2012-13 Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma Collin Klein, Kansas State
2011-12 Brittney Griner, Baylor Robert Griffin III, Baylor
2010-11 Jessica Beard, Texas A&M Taylor Jungmann, Texas
2009-10 Lisa Koll, Iowa State Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
2008-09 Destinee Hooker, Texas Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
2007-08 Sarah Pavan, Nebraska Chase Daniel, Missouri
2006-07 Sarah Pavan, Nebraska Ben Askren, Missouri
2005-06 Cat Osterman, Texas Vince Young, Texas
2004-05 Cat Osterman, Texas Derrick Johnson, Texas
2003-04 Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State Jason White, Oklahoma
2002-03 Cat Osterman, Texas Nick Collison, Kansas
2001-02 Stacey Dales, Oklahoma Cael Sanderson, Iowa State
2000-01 Greichaly Cepero, Nebraska Josh Heupel, Oklahoma
1999-00 Erin Aldrich, Texas Charles Howell, Oklahoma State
1998-99 Suziann Reid, Texas Ricky Williams, Texas
1997-98 Vera Ilyina, Texas Grant Wistrom, Nebraska
1996-97 Nanceen Perry, Texas Jacque Vaughn, Kansas