Dayton, Tenn. – The Appalachian Athletic Conference released the 2016-17 end-of-year award winners at the annual CAA/FAR conference meetings in Kingsport, Tenn., and among the individuals honored were Bryan College's Head Women's Basketball Coach, Jason Smith, and Head Athletic Trainer, T.J. Zinke.
Coach Smith was named the AAC Coach of Character by exemplifying the qualities of a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Champion of Character, encompassing the five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. Even though Smith led the Lady Lions to a historic season as they won four games in four days to take the AAC Tournament crown, only being accomplished one other time by the Tennessee Wesleyan men's team back in 2005, he has focused on building character above everything else with the women's basketball team.
Zinke was faced with an overwhelming task during his first year on staff with Bryan when the Lions lost their Head Athletic Trainer, but Zinke took on the challenge and stepped in as the leader of the Lion's Athletic Training in 2015-16. As the interim Head Athletic Trainer, Zinke continuously raised the level of excellence, earning his way to being named the Head Athletic Trainer as the 2016-17 season rolled around. Zinke has headed the rebuilding of Bryan's athletic training department over the past year, and opposing teams have spoke highly of the level of care they have received from Zinke and his staff. Zinke has followed through and made the mission statement of Bryan College Athletic Training a reality. For his efforts, Zinke was named the AAC Athletic Trainer of the Year.
Mission Statement - "The Athletic Training Staff at Bryan College exists to provide elite sports medicine care to our athletes while striving to create an atmosphere that accurately reflects the love and service of Jesus Christ."
Fellow AAC winners include:
- AAC Duard Walker All-Sports Trophy – Tennessee Wesleyan
- AAC Athletic Director of the Year – Tim Curry (Union)
- AAC FAR of the Year – Grant Willhite (Tennessee Wesleyan)