Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Texas track & field multi-event athlete Ashtin Zamzow were selected as the 2018-19 Big 12 Athletes of the Year, the conference office announced Thursday.
Murray is the sixth OU male athlete and third in the last four seasons to earn this accomplishment. Zamzow is the ninth Longhorn female to claim the award and the first in 10 years.
Nominees are submitted by Big 12 institutions and selected, based on athletic performance, academic achievement and citizenship, by a media panel as well as fan voting conducted through Big12Sports.com.
Murray earned Male Athlete of the Year after stepping in and leading the Sooners to another historic season. The signal caller became the first FBS player to average at least 300 passing yards (311.5) and at least 60 rushing yards (71.5) per game for a full season. He was only the second FBS player to ever record at least 4,000 passing yards and at least 1,000 rushing yards in a season. Additionally, the Allen, Texas, native led the nation in total yards (school-record 5,362), points responsible for (324; tied), yards per completion (16.8) and yards per pass attempt (single-season FBS record of 11.6; former record was 11.1).
In addition to his individual accomplishments, Murray guided the Sooners to their 12th Big 12 championship and a berth to the College Football Playoff for a second consecutive year. After the season he won the Heisman Trophy, Associated Press Player of the Year, Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Year, Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award and Manning Award. Murray was honored as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and an All-Big 12 First Team selection. He was voted First Team All-American by the AP and the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
In April, Murray was selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals, just a season removed from Baker Mayfield being selected as the top pick and Heisman Trophy winner. OU is the first school to produce first-round quarterback selections in consecutive seasons. He is the only person ever selected in the first round of both the Major League Baseball and NFL drafts, having been selected ninth overall in 2018 by the Oakland A’s.
Zamzow set personal bests in four of seven events (110-meter hurdles, 200-meter hurdles, long jump, high jump) en route to a school-record score of 6,222 points and a national title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. In June, she became just the second heptathlete ever to win the NCAA title on her home track.
Male nominees were Davis Wendzel (Baylor), Edwin Kurgat (Iowa State), Bryce Hoppel (Kansas), Tejaswin Shankar (Kansas State), Viktor Hovland (Oklahoma State), Chengetayi Mapaya (TCU), Christian Sigsgaard (Texas), Divine Oduduru (Texas Tech) and Will Grier (West Virginia).
Other female candidates for Big 12 Athlete of the Year included Lauren Cox (Baylor), Bridget Carleton (Iowa State), Nina Khmelnitckaia (Kansas), Peyton Williams (Kansas State), Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma), Sinclaire Johnson (Oklahoma State), Destiny Longmire (TCU), Karli Hamilton (Texas Tech) and Bianca St. Georges (West Virginia).