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Here Are the Winners of the 2023 Black & Gold Banneret Awards

View the winners of our postseason awards here

Noah Goldberg

The 2023 Black & Gold Banneret Awards, a.k.a. the Bannies, are in the books.

In its sixth year of existence, the Bannies have added one more award, splitting Play of the Year between UCF Knights’ Men’s and Women’s sports, to set a ceremony-record 27 awards.

Here are the results:

2023 Black and Gold Banneret Award Winners

Award Category Winner
Award Category Winner
Team of the Year Men Football
Women Women's Soccer
Athlete of the Year Men Ben McCabe (Baseball)
Women McKenna Melville (Volleyball)
Coach of the Year Men Gus Malzahn (Football)
Women Cindy Ball-Malone (Softball)
Game of the Year Men Men's Basketball's 2OT win vs. Memphis
Women Volleyball vs. Houston for AAC Title
Senior of the Year Men Ben McCabe (Baseball)
Women McKenna Melville (Volleyball)
Freshman of the Year Men Taylor Hendricks (Men's Basketball)
Women Aubrey Evans (Softball)
Transfer of the Year Men John Rhys Plumlee (Football and Baseball)
Women Sarah Willis (Softball)
Breakout Athlete of the Year Men RJ Harvey (Football)
Women Asherah Collins (Track and FIeld)
Individual Performance of the Year Men Lex Boedicker's 3 HRs vs. North Florida (Baseball)
Women Sarah Willis' Perfect Game vs. Houston (Softball)
Assistant Coach of the Year Men Ted Tom (Baseball)
Women Glenn Smith (Track and Field)
Play of the Year Men Holy Holler vs. USF (Football)
Women McKenna Melville's 2000th career kill (Volleyball)
Comeback Athlete of the Year RJ Harvey (Football)
Moment of the Year JRP's Doubleheader (Football and Baseball)
Alumni of the Year Sean Johnson (MLS and World Cup)
Story of the Year Knights win 2 AAC titles in Tampa (Softball and Track)
Photo of the Year Holy Holler (Football)

A reminder: The award winners were determined by staff vote, with each member getting one vote. A fan vote was also held for every award, and the winner of the fan poll received an extra vote. In the event of a tie, the award went to the winner of the fan vote.

Highlights of this Year’s awards:

  • One award was decided by the fan-vote tiebreaker: Men’s Coach of the Year (Gus Malzahn over Johnny Dawkins.)
  • In her 4th time nominated, McKenna Melville takes home her first Female Athlete of the Year Award. She also leads the field with three awards individually (Female Athlete of the Year, Women’s Senior of the Year, and Women’s Play of the Year).
  • Women’s Soccer won Women’s Team of the Year with 4 votes (Softball had 3 while Volleyball and Track had 2 apiece).
  • Football led all teams with 8 awards (Any awards involving two sports each counted as one for each involved sport).
  • With 11 possible votes, no awards were unanimous. However, 7 award-winners won with 10 votes. (Alumni of the Year, Men’s Senior of the Year, Men’s and Women’s Freshman of the Year, Men’s Transfer of the Year, Women’s Individual Performance of the Year, Men’s Game of the Year, and Men’s Play of the Year.)
  • Sean Johnson became the first to win Alumni of the Year twice and in back-to-back years.
  • A Men’s Basketball Player won Men’s Freshman of the Year for the third consecutive time (Isaiah Adams (2021), Darius Johnson (2022) and Taylor Hendricks (2023)).

Thanks to all of you who participated in the voting, and a very special thanks to all the athletes and coaches who perform these award-worthy feats in the first place.

Congrats to all the winners and nominees!

Now, it’s off to a new athletic season and a new Big 12 era.