What voters for the 2014 Lexington Herald-Leader Kentucky Sportsman of the Year Award said about those who finished outside the top 10:
MITCH BARNHART, the University of Kentucky athletics director whose department finished a school-record 11th in the Directors' Cup standings:
"Obviously, great season (for UK) in men's basketball. However, the new successes in women's softball, women's soccer and other sports on top of being sound academically and financially, the Athletic Director has done a great job."
— Greg Horn, WLRT-AM, Nicholasville
Never miss a local story.
BOB BEATTY, the Trinity High School football coach who led the Shamrocks to the 6A state title, the coach's 11th at the school:
"Say what you want, he's one of the best coaches this state has ever had at the prep level in any sport."
— Ed Peak, freelance sportswriter, Louisville
NATHAN BOSTON, the Woodford County wrestling star who completed his second straight undefeated, state championship season:
"Two years undefeated with back-to-back state championships in one of the most physically demanding sports says it all."
— Jeff Drummond, AllWildcats.com
TEDDY BRIDGEWATER, the former Louisville quarterback, who started 12 games for the Minnesota Vikings as a rookie (going 6-6) and completed 64.4 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,919 yards and 15 touchdowns:
"If Bridgewater can lead the hapless Vikings to six wins as a rookie, just imagine what he'll be capable of with experience under his belt and better players at his side."
— Alex Forkner, CatsIllustrated.com (the Rivals network)
JEFF BROHM, the Western Kentucky University football coach who led the Hilltoppers (8-5) to their first bowl victory as an FBS program:
"An outstanding QB at Trinity and U of L who played some in the pros, Jeff proved he can coach, too, and make the tough calls to beat Marshall and win the bowl game. He's gone full circle."
— Bob White, The Courier-Journal, Louisville
"It's tough to think of a hotter name in coaching or in sports in Kentucky than Jeff Brohm. The commonwealth native has stayed true to himself and upheld the tradition-rich legacy of his family name by taking the reigns of a football program on the rise and elevating it faster than anyone expected."
— Chris Jung, The Kentucky New Era, Hopkinsville
IVY BROWN, the LaRue County star (24.4 ppg, 12.6 rpg) who was named Miss Basketball:
"No one carried themselves with more class than Brown — in victory and defeat, on and off the court."
— Ryan O'Gara, The News-Enterprise, Elizabethtown
DEZEREA BRYANT, the UK sprinter who won the 200 meters at the NCAA indoor championships, the first Wildcats athlete ever to win a national title at a sprint distance:
"Bryant brought a lot of excitement to a sport that rarely gets the limelight."
— Keith Farmer, WLEX-TV, Lexington
RANDALL COBB, the Green Bay Packers wideout and ex-UK star who went over 1,000 yards receiving this year for the first time:
"Given the long, storied Green Bay franchise history, what Cobb has achieved is eye-popping."
— Lonny Demaree, KySportsReport.com
JOAO DE LUCCA, the University of Louisville swimmer who repeated as NCAA champion in the 200 freestyle and also won the 100 freestyle:
"Winning the 100 and 200 — the two premier events in the sport — in the same season is a program-changing accomplishment for Louisville. De Lucca is on his way to becoming an Olympic medalist."
— Howie Lindsey, CardinalSports.com (Rivals network)
ALVIN "BUD" DUPREE, the Kentucky standout defensive end who was named All-SEC first team by both The Associated Press and the league's coaches:
"A warrior who never gave up the fight."
— Gene Abell, Lexington Herald-Leader
BROCK ERVIN, the Union County wrestler who won the state title at 132 pounds and became the first in state history to win five straight state championships:
"Brock Ervin's senior year capped off a run of five-straight state titles, a feat unmatched in a sport where one is challenged physically and mentally every second."
— Greg Busby, WSON-AM & FM, Henderson
KENNETH FARIED, the ex-Morehad State basketball star and Denver Nuggets forward (13.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg) who helped Team USA (12.4 ppg, team-best 7.5 rpg) to the gold medal in the FIBA World Championships:
"I remember Faried as a college freshman, full of boundless energy and raw ability, but to see him play now, WOW. He was both the motor and the soul of Team USA at the FIBA World Championships. In a state fixated on the big-name programs, it's Faried, the product of an OVC school, who shines brightest."
— Greg Stotelmyer, Eastern Kentucky University radio play-by-plan announcer
ARIN GILLILAND, the Kentucky women's soccer star (seven goals, eight assists, 22 points) who won the Honda Inspiration Award and became the first player in UK history named All-American (second team) by the National Soccer Coaches Association:
"An electrifying player who had to sacrifice what could have been a standout offensive season to essentially become UK's lock-down defender. Almost always the best player on the field."
— Jared Peck, Lexington Herald-Leader
"The fact that she had this kind of year after great personal tragedy (Gilliland's mother, Letita, died in April 2012) has made her athlete of the year in my eyes, both mentally and physically."
— Ashley Scoby, KyForward.com
PHILIP HAYWOOD, who coached Belfry (13-2) to the Class 3A state football title, the coach's fourth at the school:
"Four state championships at Belfry is all you need to say about this legendary coach. Coach Haywood has built Belfry into a perennial power."
— Tim Carper, WGOH-AM and WUGO-FM, Grayson
"Haywood's contributions off the field and in the community are immeasurable."
— Tanner Hesterberg, WYMT-TV, Hazard
BILLY HICKS, the Scott County basketball coach, who became the all-time wins leader in Kentucky boys' hoops history:
"A nod to history. Becoming the winningest coach in the history of what was once the most important state still means something."
— Mike Rose, WJSN-FM, Jackson
GEROD HOLLIMAN, the Louisville safety who tied the all-time FBS record with 14 interceptions:
"Safeties are not the first place you look for breakout football stars, but Holliman's season was impossible to ignore."
— Jon Hale, The Cats' Pause
J.B. HOLMES, the ex-UK golfer who recovered from two brain surgeries and won the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Classic and finished 35th on the earnings list ($2.365 million):
"I think J.B. epitomizes what being a 'Sportsman' is all about. To overcome two brain surgeries, and to represent UK and all of the commonwealth, I think he is the perfect choice for the award this year."
— Ryan Lemond, Kentucky Sports Radio, WLAP-AM, Lexington
"As if beating brain cancer weren't enough, Holmes got back to beating the world's best golfers in 2014."
— Mark Coomes, InsiderLouisville.com
GABRIELLA KARAS, the Martha Layne Collins High School sophomore who won her fourth straight Class 2A cross country state title:
"You'd be hard pressed to find a high school athlete in Kentucky that ever had a better year than this kid."
— Mickey Patterson, The Sentinel-News, Shelbyville
DAN MCDONNELL, the Louisville baseball coach who led the Cardinals to the College World Series for the third time:
"Most folks didn't know the format of the College World Series before (McDonnell) was hired; now Louisville has been three times."
— Jody Demling, The Cardinal Authority (Scout Network)
JEFF NEUBAUER, the Eastern Kentucky men's basketball coach, who led the Colonels (24-10) to the OVC Tournament title and the NCAA tourney for the second time:
"(Neubauer) is becoming one of the best coaches in the nation."
— Jamie Vaught, KySportsStyle360.com
KELSEY NUNLEY, the University of Kentucky softball pitcher who worked every inning of UK's trip to the Women's College World Series:
"A successful workhorse for a UK team that did something no other team did before it."
— Josh Moore, Lexington Herald-Leader
DEVANTE PARKER, the Louisville senior wide receiver (43 catches, 855 yards, five touchdowns, four 100-yard games) who made third team All-ACC even though injury limited him to seven games:
"Despite the injury, he was still the second-best receiver in America, behind only Heisman finalist Amari Cooper (of Alabama)."
— Mary Jo Ford (nee Perino), formerly of WLEX-TV, Lexington
KENNY PERRY, the former Western Kentucky University standout who won twice on the PGA Champions Tour and finished sixth in earnings ($1.566 million):
"He still keeps Kentucky relevant in professional golf after all these years."
— Gary West, free-lance writer, Bowling Green
BOBBY PETRINO, who coached Louisville to a 9-4 record and a berth in the Belk Bowl:
"Few sports figures in the state are as polarizing as Petrino. His return to Louisville brought back some sizzle to college football in Kentucky."
— Rob Herbst, The Daily News, Bowling Green
KEN and SARAH RAMSEY, the Thoroughbred horse owners and breeders who won or shared owners' titles at both Churchill Downs and Keeneland and whose horse Bobby's Kitten won the Breeders' Cup Turf Classic:
"His perpetual smile only hides the competitive nature of Ken Ramsey. The Nicholasville couple has become the First Family of Thoroughbred racing. They've dominated Kentucky racing over the past several years and have become a racing power in North America."
— Steve Moss, WKYT-TV, Lexington
BEN REVERE, the ex-Lexington Catholic baseball star who had a breakout season for the Philadelphia Phillies, finishing fifth in the National League in hitting (.306), third in stolen bases (49) and ninth in triples (seven):
"Ben's bat came alive to match his stellar defense."
— Ron Bailey, The Ledger Independent, Maysville
"Would love to see (Revere) in a Reds uniform."
— Graham Johns, WKYN-FM, Winchester/Mt. Sterling
DALLAS ROBINSON, the Georgetown resident was the sole Kentuckian to compete in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He was pusher and brakeman for the two-man U.S. bobsled that finished 13th:
"Since returning from Sochi, Robinson has given back by speaking to countless groups of young men and women about character. A winner in every way."
— John Herndon, The Anderson News, Lawrenceburg
ELIJAH SINDELAR, the Caldwell County quarterback, who won Mr. Football after setting state records for career touchdown passes (144) and consecutive games (41) with a TD toss:
"Rewriting records set by Tim Couch is impressive."
— Mike Rose, WJSN-FM, Jackson
MAC WHITAKER, the Harrison County High School baseball coach who became only the third coach in state history to go over 1,000 career wins:
"Becoming only the third coach in Kentucky high school baseball history to win 1,000 games, that earns him this spot (on my ballot)."
— Shawn Seay, WLXG-AM, Lexington