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Thursday, October 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Zags trio, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Johnson capture SWABS awards

Gonzaga University’s Elite Eight NCAA men’s basketball team garnered two awards and the Bulldogs women added a third in voting by the 56-member Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association.

The Bulldogs men and Mark Few are the 2015 SWABS Team and Coach of the Year, respectively. Sunny Greinacher, who helped key the Zags’ Sweet 16 effort, is Female Athlete of the Year.

Much-honored Eastern Washington football receiver Cooper Kupp is Male Athlete of the Year and hockey’s Tyler Johnson repeated as Professional Athlete of the year.

The awards are underwritten by Arby’s, Ritzville Warehouse, Swinging Doors and Wildrose Graphics.

The list of Kupp’s accomplishments is mindboggling since beginning his career at EWU in 2013.

This past fall he was named FCS Performer of the Year at the College Football Performance Awards; was Wide Receiver of the Year by the FCS Athletic Director’s Association; won the Mickey Charles LCC Walter Payton Award; and FCS Offensive Player of the Year by both the Athletic Director’s Association and STATS.

He set a Big Sky Conference record with 114 receptions and became only the second wide receiver in league history to be named Offensive MVP.

Kupp led the FCS in five receiving categories including yards (1,615) and touchdown receptions (19). Through his junior season he holds eight Big Sky records, 17 school marks and seven NCAA Football Championship Subdivision records.

Greinacher was named All-West Coast Conference for the second straight year. The senior from Germany averaged 14.1 points per game on 48 percent shooting to lead the Zags and pulled down 6.2 rebounds per game.

She was named all-tournament in both the WCC tournament and NCAA regionals, where the 26-8 Bulldogs earned an at-large berth and nearly joined their male counterparts in the round of eight.

Johnson, a Central Valley High graduated whose storybook hockey odyssey took him from the Spokane Chiefs to a spot with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL, improved on his rookie stats that earned him Pro Athlete of the Year honors a year ago

He scored 72 points in 77 games – 15th in the NHL – leading the Lightning to the Stanley Cup finals. In the playoffs he scored a hat trick in one game and totaled 13 goals overall, until slowed by a broken wrist.

Gonzaga University’s Few guided the Bulldogs to a 35-3 record, its 15th West Coast Conference title and 12th tournament championship. During his tenure, Few has compiled a 438-103 record and is the nation’s winningest active coach (.810)

The Bulldogs had a magical run, losing but three of 38 games and reaching the NCAA tournament’s final eight teams before losing to eventual champion Duke. It was the school’s finest achievement considering GU was qualifying for its 17th straight tourney appearance. The team set a school record for field goal percentage (.5204) and reached as high as No. 2 in the country before ending the season ranked sixth.

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