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Richard Johnson Named WCC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year; Receives Post-Graduate Scholarship

June 11, 2007

Malibu, Calif. - Pepperdine senior men's tennis player Richard Johnson was recognized for his excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community when he was named the West Coast Conference's (WCC) Male Student-Athlete of the Year and also awarded the WCC's Postgraduate Scholarship, the conference announced on Monday.

Johnson became the third consecutive Pepperdine male student-athlete to earn the WCC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and fifth overall while becoming the second straight male student-athlete to receive the conference's postgraduate scholarship award.

Men's golfer Michael Putnam and baseball player Nick Kliebert were honored with the WCC Male Student-Athlete of the Year Award in 2005 and 2006, respectively, while Keith Jarbo of the men's basketball team received the post-graduate scholarship in 2006.

Since its inception in 2004, Pepperdine has had two male student-athletes receive the postgraduate scholarship award in four years.

Johnson, a three-time All-WCC honoree was a key player on the Waves' 2006 national championship team, earning NCAA Championship All-Tournament doubles team honors with partner Omar Altmann. Johnson also helped the Waves to four consecutive WCC Championships. During his time in Malibu, the Waves tallied a 102-22 (.822) overall record and advanced to four NCAA Championships.

Individually, Johnson compiled a 73-54 (.575) record in singles play. He also helped Pepperdine earn the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) National Team Sportsmanship Award in 2004.

Johnson, who is expected to graduate magna cum laude in December with a degree in biology, was named to the WCC All-Academic team twice, has been recognized on the WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll three times, is a four-year member of the Dean's List and a four-time Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete.

In addition to his accomplishments on the court and in the classroom, Johnson also volunteered as a tutor at the local elementary school and as a tennis instructor to underprivileged children in his hometown of Grand Junction, Colo. He also participated in the Boy's and Girl's Club charity pro-am, helping to raise over $300,000 for the Boy's and Girl's Club of America in the Conejo Valley region of Southern California.

The scholar-athlete award is selected by a vote of the WCC's institutional representatives to recognize the finest accomplishments in athletics, academics and community service by individuals who have completed their athletic eligibility.

Committed to promoting the educational experience and academic achievements of its student-athletes, the WCC provides one male and one female student-athlete with a scholarship to assist them in their graduate school or professional school education. Candidates must own a minimum 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale, demonstrate a significant athletic contribution on the varsity athletic level in a WCC sponsored sport and participate in a WCC sport for a minimum of two years. In addition, candidates must have a record of participating in campus or community activities, completed their athletic eligibility, and competed in intercollegiate athletics in the academic year in which they are nominated.

PEPPERDINE SCHOLAR-ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
2007 - Richard Johnson (Men's Tennis)
2006 - Nick Kliebert (Baseball)
2005 - Michael Putnam (Men's Golf)
2003 - Katherine Hull (Women's Golf) (Co)
1989 - Rick Hirtensteiner (Baseball)
1976 - Dick Skophammer (Men's Basketball)

PEPPERDINE POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP AWARD WINNERS
2007 - Richard Johnson
2006 - Keith Jarbo