July 3, 2013
Walnut Creek, Calif. - The 2012-13 Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal Winners were announced on Wednesday, as UCLA's Jeff Locke and Vanessa Zamarripa received the prestigious honor. A Conference medal is awarded annually to each member institution's outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.
Zamarripa ended an outstanding career with a school-record 19 All-America awards, two NCAA Championships and nine perfect 10s on vault. In 2013, she was named the NACGC/W National Gymnast of the Year, won the AAI Award as the top senior gymnast in the nation. Additionally, she was selected West Region Gymnast of the Year, and won her second career Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year award after capturing conference titles in the all-around, vault and beam. Zamarripa set or tied conference records for most career Gymnast of the Week awards (nine), most career Special Performance of the Week awards (eight) and most Gymnast of the Week awards in a season (four). She was also honored by the Pac-12 Conference as an All-Academic selection.
Locke, a punter/kickoff specialist who recently completed his eligibility for the Bruins this past season, saw action in all 14 games in 2012, serving as a special team's co-captain. He was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, given annually to the nation's top punter. He was named first-team All-Pac-12 selection by league coaches and was an honorable mention All-America pick by SportsIllustrated.com. Locke led the Pac-12 kickers with 34 punts inside the 20-yard line (21 at or inside the opponent's 10-yard line) and also recorded 68 touchbacks on his 89 kickoffs, leading the Pac-12 in that category. Following the season, he was selected to play in the Senior Bowl College All-Star Game. Off the field, Locke was one of six senior student-athletes at UCLA to have been named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll in each quarter of his athletic career. In March, he was one of 29 male student-athletes in the country to earn a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
Conference medal winners have been named every year since the 1960-61 academic year. In 2009, the Pac-12 renamed the award the Tom Hansen Conference Medal in honor of Hansen, who retired at the end of June 2009 after serving for 26 years as Commissioner of the Pac-10.
Click HERE for a complete list of 2012-13 Pac-12 Conference Medal winners.