Corey Wood has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Josh Willingham Award, an honor given to the most valuable player at the NCAA Division II level.
Wood becomes the second national player of the year award for UAM in any sport. Tina Webb was named the NAIA National Women’s Basketball Player of the Year in 1990 after leading the Blossoms to a national runner-up finish.
The Josh Willingham Award, presented by Toolshed Sports, has been given annually since 2013 to D2’s most valuable player, “an individual who not only excels on the field, but in the dugout, clubhouse and practice field as well, and leads his team to national championship caliber status.”
Wood met all of those qualifications this season, as he rewrote several portions of the UAM and Great American Conference record books with his performance on the field, while leading the Weevils to the most successful season in program history. UAM advanced to the finals of the NCAA Central Region Tournament, and finished the year with a 40-16 record, breaking multiple team records along the way. Wood also performed well in the classroom, and recently earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UAM.
The award’s namesake is a former University of North Alabama star, who was a two-time All-America honoree and tied or broke 14 school records during his collegiate career. Willingham was drafted by the Florida Marlins in 2000 and has since played 11 years for five different teams.
Wood learned of the news with a congratulatory phone call from Willingham this past Monday. “It was pretty amazing to get a call from a major leaguer,” said Wood. “I was star struck to say the least.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row]