The Wolverine

August 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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AUGUST 2018 THE WOLVERINE 41 Male Sport Coach Of The Year — John Beilein, men's basketball: The Michigan men's basketball team went on a pair of magical postseason runs in 2018, first in the Big Ten Tourna- ment and then in the NCAA Champi- onships. It was one of Beilein's finest coach- ing jobs, transforming the team from an offensive juggernaut to a defensive power — finishing third in the coun- try in defensive efficiency according to and first in the Big Ten in scoring defense (63.3 points per game allowed). U-M finished the season 33-8 overall, taking home a Big Ten Tournament title for the second straight year and finishing second at NCAAs, losing to Villanova in the national champion- ship game. The Maize and Blue domi- nated rival Michigan State twice, once in the regular season and again in the conference tournament. It was the second time Michigan reached the Final Four and national championship game under Beilein (the other came in 2013). U-M won 30-plus games for the fourth time in school history and its second under Beilein. The team's 33 wins stand as a program record. Michigan's 13-5 Big Ten record marked the third straight year, and sixth time in seven seasons, that the team finished with 10 or more confer- ence wins. Two of Beilein's players have signed NBA contracts — former center Moritz Wagner, who was drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Lakers, and wing Duncan Robinson, who signed with the Miami Heat as an undrafted free agent. Beilein also helped reload U-M's roster by bringing in's No. 10-ranked recruiting class in the coun- try. BREAKOUT PERFORMERS OF THE YEAR Male Breakout Performer Of The Year — CHASE WINOVICH, football: Winovich burst onto the national scene in 2017, his first season as a full-time starter at defensive end. He played so well, in fact, that he had the opportu- nity to go pro and declare for the NFL Draft following the season, but ulti- mately decided to return to Michigan for the 2018 season — his fifth and final year of eligibility. In 2016, Winovich started two games and showed promise, tally- ing 35 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. This year, he shredded those numbers, finishing with 79 total stops, 18 tackles for loss, eight sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 13 starts. H e w a s named first-team All-Big Ten by the media and second- t e a m A l l - B i g Ten by the coaches, received the team's Blue Collar Award for hardest-working player, earned a midseason addition to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List for the na- tion's best defensive player and was included on Pro Football Focus' All- Big Ten defensive team. One of Michigan's most passionate players, Winovich was known for his long blonde hair and his trash talk — both of which were featured on Ama- zon's "All Or Nothing" series on U-M football. Many believed he could be selected as high as the second or third round in this year's NFL Draft, but he echoed comments by fellow defensive end Rashan Gary about wanting to form the country's best defensive end duo. He's also a leader off the field. Before the team's Outback Bowl against South Carolina, Winovich led a fundraiser for The ChadTough Foundation which supports research for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. His efforts helped raise $211,246, far more than the $15,000 he was aiming for initially. He and a crew of Wolverines dyed their hair orange for the game. Female Breakout Performer Of The Year — Meg Dowthwaite, field hockey: As a sophomore midfielder/ forward in 2017, Dowthwaite blew away her freshman season statistics. She went from five goals, including a pair of game-winners, and five assists in just nine starts as a rookie to 19 goals and eight assists for a team-high 46 to- tal points this season. She started 23 of 24 games, scored eight game-winning goals and had 33 more shots on goal than the year before. Her meteoric rise resulted in sev- eral prestigious laurels, including first-team All-Big Ten, National Field Hockey Coaches Association first-team All-West Region, and NFHCA and Longstreth second-team All-America honors. The field hockey team benefited greatly from her success, winning the Big Ten and reaching the national semi- finals. It wasn't just the number of goals that were impressive from Dowth- waite — it was the timing. She scored the game-winner against No. 1 North Carolina to start the year, had three multi-goal games and recorded the overtime game-winner against No. 13 Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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