KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Fort Hays State's Morgan Brasser (women's golf) and Ryan Stanley (men's track & field) were both selected as finalists for the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association's Ken B. Jones Award, presented by Summit Pointe Financial Group, announced Tuesday by the league office. The annual award recognizes the conference's male and female student-athletes of the year.
Brasser, Stanley and the eight other finalists will be recognized at the 2023 MIAA Awards Celebration, presented by Husch Blackwell, on Tuesday, June 6 in the Music Hall at the Kansas City Convention Center. The 2022-23 female and male Ken B. Jones winners will be announced during the event as well. Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State are the only two schools with finalists on both the men's and women's side. Emporia State, Missouri Western, Central Missouri, Central Oklahoma, Northeastern State and Nebraska-Kearney all have one finalist each.
Stanley is a finalist for the award for a second time after previously winning the 2020-21 spring MIAA Men's Student-Athlete of the Year award.
The fifth-year senior qualified for his eighth NCAA Division II National Championship during the current outdoor track and field season, where he will vie for a third national title later this week in Pueblo, Colo. He earned his seventh All-American honor after placing seventh at the indoor national meet earlier this year. He previously won the national title during the 2021 outdoor season and the 2022 indoor campaign.
Stanley won his second MIAA championship during this outdoor season, earning his fifth All-MIAA medal in the process. He was also an All-MIAA pick during the 2023 indoor season, placing third indoors. He has seven USTFCCCA All-Central Region honors in his career. The Bennington, Kan. native set the outdoor school record with a clearance of 17-7 (5.36m) earlier this season in California. He also holds the indoor school record with his national-championship-clinching mark of 17-9.25 (5.42m) in 2022.
Stanley completed an undergraduate degree as a double major in Management (Human Resources) and Spanish with a GPA of 3.95 while maintaining a GPA of 3.63 in graduate school studying for an MBA emphasizing in Human Resources. He was a CoSIDA Academic All-America first team selection in 2021 and is a two-time CoSIDA/College Sports Communicators Academic All-District pick. He has earned four USTFCCCA All-Academic Awards, three MIAA Academic Excellence Awards, five MIAA Scholar-Athlete Awards, nine MIAA Academic Honor Roll spots and three D2ADA Academic Achievement Awards.
He serves as the FHSU student body president after spending last year as vice president and has also been a VIP Ambassador with the Office of the President for three consecutive years. He's helped with SGA's Big Event three years in a row by serving at Bethesda Place and has also traveled to Topeka to advocate for higher education three times at Higher Education Day. He's been a guest speaker at the Hays Middle School Leadership Conference and volunteered at Youth Night at the Track. Stanley packed boxes for Operation Christmas Child with Christian Challenge and participated in Kare Packs packing with the Society for Human Resource Management. He frequently drives international classmates with limited means of transportation to run errands.
Brasser was a steady force on the course all season long, completing the year with a program-record stroke average of 75.8. She won three tournaments and finished inside the top 10 at eight out of 12 events, including six in the top five.
The Andale, Kan. native was the MIAA Women's Golfer of the Year and was a unanimous first team All-MIAA selection, her third all-conference honor after receiving honorable mention status each of the last two seasons. She earned a spot in the NCAA Central Regional as an individual for a third-consecutive season in 2023 and was also named to the WGCA All-Central Region team. The junior was named MIAA Women's Golfer of the Week three times this season.
Brasser recorded nine rounds at-or-under par, including six under-par trips around the course. She turned in a score of 2-over or better in more than half of her rounds on the year (15 of 28). Brasser tied the program record with a single-round score of 69 twice and set the program record for lowest tournament score in relation to par at 4-under at the Newman Invitational.
She earned College Sports Communicators Academic All-District honors this year and was a WGCA All-America Scholar in 2021-22. She has earned a trio of MIAA Scholar-Athlete Awards, three spots on the MIAA Academic Honor Roll and three listings on the Deans Honor Roll at FHSU. She also received the D2ADA Academic Achievement Award last year.
Brasser has served on the FHSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for three years and represented FHSU at the MIAA SAAC meeting in Kansas City earlier this year. She also serves at the FHSU Campus Catholic Center. On the course, Brasser serves as a junior golf clinic instructor for children ages 5-18 and designed the first-ever FHSU golf clinic for girls in junior high. She plans to spend the summer teaching junior golf and ladies clinics in the Wichita area.
Fort Hays State has now had 17 Ken B. Jones Award finalists since joining the MIAA in 2006-07. Three Tigers have earned the conference's top honor, including Stanley (2020-21 spring), Whitney Randall (2020-21 winter) and Kate Lehman (2014-15). FHSU has had at least one finalist for each of the last 11 awards (since 2014-15).
Each institution may nominate one female and one male student-athlete. The nominees must have completed at least their junior season of athletics eligibility by June 1 of the academic year of nomination. A nominee must have at least a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average through the previous full semester term through February 1 of the academic year of nomination at the certifying member institution.
A 13-member panel of athletics directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletics representatives and sports information directors - including a representative from each member institution - select the finalists. Each nominee is judged in three areas, including 2022-23 athletic accomplishments, career academic accomplishments, and 2022-23 campus/community service.
2022-23 Female Finalists
Morgan Brasser – Golf – Fort Hays State
Auna Childress – Track & Field – Pittsburg State
Mackenzie Dimarco – Soccer – Emporia State
Sydni Hawkins – Softball – Missouri Western
Madi Wulfekotter – Track & Field – Central Missouri
2022-23 Male Finalists
Dalton Abney – Wrestling – Central Oklahoma
Ryan McCully – Soccer – Northeastern State
Matthew Oglesby – Cross Country/Track & Field – Pittsburg State
Ryan Stanley – Track & Field – Fort Hays State
Luke Stuckey – Cross Country/Track & Field – Nebraska Kearney
Fort Hays State Nominees for Ken B. Jones Award
2022-23 - Morgan Brasser (Golf), Ryan Stanley (Track & Field)
2021-22 - Whitney Randall (Basketball), Alec Bevis (Soccer)
2020-21 Spring - Mattie Rossi (Track & Field), *Ryan Stanley (Track & Field)*
2020-21 Winter - *Whitney Randall (Basketball)*, Jared Vitztum (Basketball)
2019-20 Winter - Kacey Kennett (Basketball), Brandon Ball (Wrestling)
2019-20 Fall - Darby Hirsch (Soccer), Moritz Walther (Soccer)
2018-19 - Tatyana Legette (Basketball), Brandon Ball (Wrestling)
2017-18 - Kelly Wycoff (Track & Field), Doyin Jibowu (Football)
2016-17 - Crystal Whitten (Volleyball), Jon Inman (Wrestling)
2015-16 - Beth Bohuslavsky (Basketball), Jon Inman (Wrestling)
2014-15 - *Kate Lehman (Basketball)*, Jesse Trent (Football)
2013-14 - Katelyn Edwards (Basketball), Carson Konrade (Basketball)
2012-13 - Maddie Holub (Softball), Alex Hendee (Cross Country/Track & Field)
2011-12 - Crista Bechard (Basketball), Alex Whitehill (Football)
2010-11 - Darcie Schmitz (Track & Field), Alex Whitehill (Football)
2009-10 - Darcie Schmitz (Track & Field)
2008-09 - Hallie McMillan (Softball), Eric Gilliland (Baseball)
Bold indicates Award winner
Italics indicates Award finalist
NOTE: there were no awards in the Spring of 2020 and Fall of 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic