Light the Tower: Student Athlete National Award Winners
Campus landmark will be lit in Burnt Orange on Tuesday night in recognition of the five individual National Award winners last year.
The University of Texas Tower will be lit in Burnt Orange on Tuesday, August 29 to commemorate the five individual National Award winners from Texas Athletics during the 2022-23 season. Those five National Award winners are: Julien Alfred (Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field), Logan Eggleston (Volleyball), Leo Neugebauer (Men’s Outdoor Track and Field), Bijan Robinson (Football) and Eliot Spizzirri (Men’s Tennis).
This event is part of Championship Week for UT Athletics, during which Longhorns that won team and individual NCAA Championships as well as Big 12 Conference team titles in 2022-23 will be honored with displays in the Frank Denius Family University of Texas Hall of Fame.
Alfred earned USTFCCCA (U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) Women’s Indoor National Track Athlete of the Year and USTFCCCA Women’s Outdoor National Track Athlete of the Year honors in 2023. She also was tabbed the 2022-23 Big 12 Conference Female Athlete of the Year, the 2023 Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor Performer of the Year and is a finalist for The Bowerman. Alfred completed the short sprints double at both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, becoming the first Big 12 woman to accomplish the feat and first to do it nationally since 1993. She is just the fourth woman in NCAA history to win titles in the 60m and 200m indoors and 100m and 200m outdoors in the same season. Alfred went unbeaten in the 60-meters indoors and the 100 and 200-meters outdoors in 2023. She led the Longhorns to a NCAA team title at the NCAA Outdoor Championship and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Indoor Championship.
Eggleston claimed AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) National Player of the Year accolades and was the CWSA (Collegiate Women Sports Awards) Honda Sport Award winner for Volleyball. She led the Longhorns to the NCAA National Championship and was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championship. Eggleston recorded a team-best 4.28 kills per set and a .297 hitting percentage while also leading the squad with 42 service aces, setting the school and Big 12 career aces record in the process. She became the 27th Longhorn athlete to earn both First Team All-America and First-Team Academic All-America honors.
Neugebauer garnered USTFCCCA Men’s Outdoor Co-National Field Athlete of the Year honors in 2023. He won the decathlon title at the NCAA Outdoor Championship, setting the world-lead and breaking a 39-year German National record and the collegiate record with his score of 8,836 points. His performance ranked No. 8 in world history, as he set six personal-bests out of the 10 events. Earlier in the spring, Neugebauer broke the Texas Relays and UT program record with his winning performance and then-PR score of 8,478 points. Neugebauer owns both the heptathlon and decathlon records at Texas.
Robinson claimed the Doak Walker Award as college football’s top running back in 2022. A unanimous All-American selection last year, he was the fourth Longhorn to win the Doak Walker Award and fourth UT running back to earn unanimous All-America accolades. Robinson was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, becoming the first Texas running back selected in the first round since Cedric Benson was drafted fourth overall by the Chicago Bears in 2005. During his junior season in 2022, Robinson finished second in the nation in tandem yards with 1,894 (1,580 rushing and 314 receiving) and third in total touchdowns (20) while averaging a Big 12-best 131.7 yards rushing and 157.83 all-purpose yards per game.
Spizzirri earned ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) National Player of the Year honors in 2023 while helping the Longhorns advance to the NCAA Semifinals. He ended the season ranked No. 1 nationally in singles and also was tabbed the ITA Senior Player of the Year, as his last remaining year of eligibility is due to the pandemic. He became the second Longhorn to hold the top singles spot at the end of the season, joining Steve Bryan in 1990, and Spizzirri was the second Texas player to be named ITA Senior Player of the Year, following Søren Hess-Olesen in 2015. Spizzirri was an All- American in both singles and doubles. He and his partner, Cleeve Harper, finished at No. 2 in the national doubles rankings after their runner-up showing in the NCAA Doubles Championships. The 2023 Big 12 Player of the Year, Spizzirri posted a 36-5 overall record in singles, including a 20-1 mark in dual-matches, all of which were at the No. 1 line. He was named the Most Outstanding Player at the ITA Indoor Nationals and was selected to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team at No. 1 singles. Spizzirri and Harper registered a 28-14 overall record in doubles, including 10 wins over top-25 ranked opponents.