July 10, 2012

Ronald Nored, Michele Nash Chosen Top Butler Athletes

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Seniors Ronald Nored, who etched his name in the Butler basketball record book, and Michele Nash, who helped lead Butler to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship, have been selected as Butler’s Most Outstanding Athletes for 2011-12.  The two were chosen by a vote of Butler’s athletic administration from a pool of athletes nominated by Butler coaches.

In addition to the Most Outstanding Athlete awards, Butler recognized a pair of first-year track and cross country athletes with the Frank “Pop” Hedden Award, which honors outstanding male and female freshman student-athletes.  Tom Curr was tabbed as the male winner, while Mara Olson was chosen as the female recipient.

“We’re extremely proud of the accomplishments of these athletes, but we have an even greater admiration for the way they have represented Butler University,” said Butler Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “These four individuals have achieved at a very high level, and they are certainly deserving of this recognition.”

Nored, named Butler’s Most Outstanding Male Athlete for 2011-12, wrapped up a four-year career that included 109 victories, three Horizon League regular seasons championships, two Horizon League Tournament titles, four trips to postseason tournaments and back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division I national championship game.  He set Butler career records for games played (143), postseason games played (16) and steals (207), and he established a single season record for assists (193) in 2011-12.

The 6-0 guard from Homewood, Ala., was a two-time Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year and a three-time pick to the Horizon League All-Defensive Team.  He was named second team All-Horizon League in 2011-12 and was selected to the Horizon League All-Tournament Team in 2009-10.  He finished second on Butler’s all-time assist chart, and he was one of just two players in Butler basketball history to record 400 career points, 400 career rebounds and 400 career assists!

Nored was equally accomplished off the court.  He was a second team Capital One Academic All-American as a senior, and he was named a Lowes’s Senior CLASS Award first team All-American for notable achievement in community, classroom, character and competition.  He was a two-time Horizon League Academic All-League pick and a three-year member of the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll.  The Butler team captain was the subject of a year-long, 2011-12 NCAA feature titled “A Year In The Life Of Ronald Nored.”

This past season, Nored led the Bulldogs to a 22-15 campaign and into the semifinals of the postseason College Basketball Invitational.  He led the Bulldogs and ranked second in the Horizon League in assists (5.2), while topping the league in assist/turnover ratio.  He ranked fourth on the squad in scoring (7.8) and fifth in rebounding (4.2).

Nash, who finished her stellar collegiate golf career at the 2012 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship, was named Butler’s Most Outstanding Female Athlete for the second consecutive year.  She picked up the Butler award for the first time a year ago, after leading the Bulldogs to their first appearance in the NCAA women’s golf tournament.

Butler’s leading scorer for three straight years, Nash capped off her final season by posting a school-record 75.9 average.  She had the team’s lowest single round of the year, tying the school-record with a 69 at the Memphis Fall Invitational, and she had a team-best four rounds of par or better.  She finished among the “Top 5” individuals in ten different tournaments, and she captured tournament medalist honors in four different meets.

Nash, who placed fifth at the 2012 Horizon League Women’s Golf Championship, was named Horizon League Women’s Golf Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.  She was chosen All-Horizon League for the third straight year, and she was named to the Horizon League All-Tournament Team for the third consecutive time.  The former Indianapolis Cathedral High School golfer also earned a spot on the Horizon League Academic All-League team for the third straight year.

During her four seasons with the Bulldogs, Nash helped lead Butler to a pair of league championships and one third place finish.  She was the team’s leading scorer in each of Butler’s two NCAA tournament appearances.

Curr was named Horizon League Cross Country Newcomer of the Year, after helping lead the Bulldogs to their 14th consecutive men’s cross country championship.  The first-year Butler runner placed third at the conference cross country meet, the top finish of any freshman in the league.  Curr then earned Horizon League Indoor Track Newcomer of the Year recognition after winning both the 800 and the mile at the league championship.  The middle distance standout set school records in the indoor 800 and 1000, and he recorded the third-fastest mile in Butler history.  He was ranked No. 2 in the mile among all freshmen in the NCAA.

Olson had an equally dominant freshman season with the Bulldogs.  She was selected Horizon League Cross Country Newcomer of the Year, after helping the Bulldogs to their 13th conference title.  She then added Horizon League Indoor Track Newcomer of the Year honors with a strong performance at the league indoor championship.  Olson ran the fastest freshman mile in Butler history and the third-fastest time overall in Butler annals, and she was ranked 12th in the mile among all freshmen in the NCAA.  She was a member of Butler’s winning Distance Medley Relay team at the league indoor meet.