Recognized as their respective sports conferences’ Player of the Week were softball star Jackie Heide and track and field student-athlete Westin Morrill.
Heide, a senior infielder, is off to a terrific start, particularly slugging the ball. She hit her eighth home run of the season last weekend as the team took on Seattle and leads the Pacific Coast Softball Conference in batting average (.421), home runs and slugging percentage (.776).
The award was the second Player of the Week honor that Heide has earned this season.
Joining Heide in receiving recognition was Morrill, a senior thrower from Cascade, Ore.
His throw of 204 feet at the Stanford Invitational earned him an invite to the NCAA Regional Tournament. The throw is the best mark in the Big Sky Conference this season.
Mentioned as a candidate to fill the newly created coaching vacancy at Washington State was head basketball coach Ken Bone.
A Washington native, Bone was an assistant coach at the University of Washington before accepting the head-coaching position at Portland State.
According to athletic director Torre Chisholm, Bone will be or has been interviewed for the Cougars head-coaching position, and could replace Tony Bennett, who resigned to become the head coach at the University of Virginia.
Last season, Bone interviewed with Loyola Marymount and Oregon State before ultimately ending up back in the South Park Blocks, where he led a talented team to their second NCAA Tournament berth.
Chisholm rewarded Bone with a contract extension and pay increase in January, but the money he is making at Portland State would likely pale in comparison to an offer from a Pacific-10 Conference school.
Washington State can also boast an upgrade in facilities and a talented returning lineup, including Pac-10 All-Conference freshman Klay Thompson.
The Cougars were 17-16 this season and 8-10 in Pac-10 play but are just one year removed from a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2007–08.
Modified was the Big Sky volleyball schedule due to the economic recession.
Typically, conference games are played each week on Thursday and Saturday nights. But starting in 2009, volleyball action within the conference will take place on Friday and Saturday nights.
The move will limit the amount of travel costs that schools incur and also decrease the amount of school that volleyball players miss. But the decision could be a hardship as teams are forced to travel between two sometimes far-flung destinations in just one day.
The conference also announced that they would be discontinuing their annual Summer Kickoff, which typically takes place each July in Park City, Utah, and features athletic directors, head coaches and a representative from each of the conference’s nine football teams.
“These are very difficult times for our schools, our sponsors and the media, so we feel canceling this year’s event is a sensible decision,” said Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton. “We’re hopeful we will be able to bring the Summer Kickoff back in the future.”