Canisius seniors Billy Baron and Maria Kotas were named the 2013-14 Canisius Male and Female Athletes of the Year, the school announced Monday night at its annual Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Awards Gala, held in the Montante Cultural Center.
The Athlete of the Year Award is the highest honor a student-athlete can receive at the College. Each of the school’s 17 varsity programs nominate one deserving candidate, and the school’s 400-plus student-athletes, coaches, administrators and support staff cast their votes through an online voting service.
Baron, a 2014 Associated Press All-American and the 2014 Pepsi MAAC Player of the Year, becomes the first Canisius male student-athlete to win the award in back-to-back years. A finalist for the 2014 Bob Cousy Award, Baron ranked fourth in the nation in scoring average in 2013-14 with his 24.1 points per game, and his 821 total points during the season make him just the second Canisius player in the program’s 110-year history to eclipse the 800-point mark in one year. He ranked 12th nationally with 107 made 3-point field goals, a new school single-season record, and he ended the year as the MAAC’s leader in assists per game average with 5.3 per contest. Baron was also good for 4.9 rebounds per game, and he is the first Division I men’s basketball since 2002 to average better than 20 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game for the entire season.
Kotas is the third consecutive women’s lacrosse player to be named the school’s Female Athlete of the Year, and she is the fourth member from the program to earn the title since the award was first given in 2000-01. The 2014 MAAC Midfielder of the Year and the first four-time MAAC All-Tournament Team honoree in conference history, Kotas helped lead the Golden Griffins to their fourth-straight MAAC title on May 4 as the team defeated Marist 11-9 in Buffalo. The Lancaster, N.Y., native leads the team with her 54 goals and 25 assists for 79 points, and she’s also collected 76 draw controls, 64 ground balls and caused 51 turnovers.The Canisius women’s lacrosse team will start its play in the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship on Friday, May 9, when the Blue and Gold takes on Penn at the University of Maryland’s Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park, Md. Game time between the Griffs and Quakers is set for 4 p.m., with the winner advancing to face No. 1 Maryland on Sunday, May 11.