Athletic Department

Charles Orsborn Award
Release: Thursday 05/04/2015 
by Bradley University

Formerly known as the Watonga Award since its inception in 1951, the Charles Orsborn Award is the highest honor Bradley University bestows upon a graduating senior student-athlete and recognizes the ability of the winner to combine athletic and academic success with community service.

A letterwinner in four sports as a student-athlete (baseball, basketball, football and track and field), Orsborn helped put Bradley Athletics on the national map as a member of the Famous Five men's basketball teams that played in the first two National Invitation Tournaments in 1938 and 1939 and earned an invitation to the inaugural NCAA Tournament in 1939.  Signed by baseball's New York Yankees after graduation, he spent one year in the minor leagues before he was drafted into the military in 1941 during World War II.  Entering as a private, he eventually served five full years in the service, retiring with his years in the Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force.

Orsborn returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach for the Bradley Basketball program from 1947-56, a run that included NCAA Tournament runner-up finishes in 1950 and 1954.  He took over as the program's head coach from 1956-65, a nine-year stretch that produced a 194-56 (.776) record and three NIT championships (1957, 1960 and 1964).  He earned his first 100 victories in just 120 games, which is still tied for sixth in NCAA Division I history for the fewest number of games required to achieve 100 wins.  Inducted into both the NIT and Missouri Valley Conference Halls of Fame, Orsborn was selected the Bradley Basketball Coach of the Century during the program's 100-year celebration in 2002.  Following his coaching career, he served as the school's Director of Athletics from 1965-78.

Charles Orsborn Award Winners

Year Recipient Sport
2016  Caitlin Busch Women's Cross Country/Track & Field 
  Kristen Busch  Women's Cross Country/Track & Field 
2015 Shannon King Softball
2014 Bailiegh Basham Softball
2013 Tapiwa Machingauta Soccer
2012 Bobby Smith Soccer
2011 Coby Thompson Men's Golf
2010 Katie Nowak Women's Cross Country/Track and Field 
  Jenny Van Kirk  Women's Basketball 
2009 Bari Erais Women's Golf
2008 Rikki Sobel Women's Golf
2007 Zach Bell Soccer
2006 Meaghan LeBlanc Women's Golf
  Marko Marevic Men's Tennis
  Lindsay Stalzer Volleyball
2005 Brad Canada Baseball
2004 Jenna Passman Volleyball
2003 Stephanie Behrns Volleyball
  Tam Hart Women's Cross Country/Track and Field
  Tim Regan


2002 Sam Hardwick Volleyball
  Lora Weber Women's Basketball
2001 Dan Thorstenson Soccer
  Angie Zimmerman Women's Cross Country/Track and Field
2000 Mary Ellen Hill Women's Cross Country/Track and Field
1999 Heather Best Women's Basketball
1998 Ryan Blask Men's Golf
  Julie Erskine

Women's Tennis

1997 Charlie Griak Baseball
  Brian Michalowski Men's Swimming and Diving
1996 Mike Peterson Men's Tennis
1995 Amy Pera Softball
1994 Erika Grogg Women's Basketball
1993 Todd Bryant Men's Cross Country/Track and Field
1992 Andrea McAllister Women's Basketball
  Matt Quinn Baseball
1991 Val Wancket Women's Basketball
1990 Not Awarded  
1989 Cheryl Christiansen Volleyball
1988 Mark Oberle Men's Cross Country/Track and Field
1987 Betsy Buckhold Volleyball
  Beth Hawkins-Bonifas Softball
1986 Not Awarded  
1985 Carolyn Lammersfeld Women's Cross Country/Track and Field
1984 Teri (O'Brien) Bell Softball
1983 Karen Anderson Women's Basketball
1982 Jeff Huber Men's Track and Field
1981 Chris Drew Men's Swimming and Diving
  Kathy Svoboda Volleyball
  Dave Kinley Men's Cross Country/Track and Field
1980 Gregg Wells Men's Swimming and Diving
1979 Lynn Held Volleyball/Women's Basketball
1978 Tim Harris Men's Swimming and Diving
1977 Dave Burritt


1976 Ed Siggelko Men's Swimming and Diving
1975 Tom Les Men's Basketball
1974 Mike Harrell Men's Basketball

Not Awarded

1972 Chuck Kalb Football
1971 Tom Whitney Football
1970 Roger Fry Men's Cross Country/Track and Field
1969 Dave Ulmer Men's Cross Country/Track and Field
1968 Gary Upton Baseball
1967 Bob Buente Men's Tennis
1966 Bruce Weber Football
1965 Jerry Newman Baseball
1964 Jack Anderson Men's Golf
1963 James Troy Baseball
1962 Howard McKibben Men's Track and Field
1961 Ron Blumenshine Men's Cross Country/Track and Field
1960 Joe Napoli Baseball
  Mike Owens Men's Basketball
1959 Joe Billy McDade Men's Basketball
1958 Dick Dhabalt Men's Basketball
1957 Dave Wallace Men's Track and Field
1956 Lee Utt Baseball/Men's Basketball
1955 Don Stamp Baseball/Football
1954 John Deininger Football
1953 Ronald Hall Football
1952 Gilbert Bell Baseball
1951 Aaron Preece Men's Basketball

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