SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- The 2016 West Coast Conference Mike Gilleran Scholar-Athletes of the Year were announced at the seventh annual WCC Honors Dinner, held in conjunction with the Executive Council and Presidents' Council meetings at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, Calif. Sterling Shuster (softball) of Loyola Marymount University and Kyle Wiltjer (basketball) of Gonzaga University collected the prestigious accolades.
Shuster is the fourth Lion to earn Mike Gilleran Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and the first since 2016 WCC Hall of Honor inductee Kate Murray (basketball) shared the award in 2004. Wiltjer is the eighth Bulldog to capture the honor and the first since fellow basketball All-American Blake Stepp collected the honor in 2004.
The Mike Gilleran Scholar-Athlete of the Year is selected by a vote of the WCC's Executive Council to recognize the finest accomplishments in athletics, academics and community service by individuals who have completed their collegiate eligibility. The award is named in honor of the conference's first full-time commissioner, Mike Gilleran.
STERLING SHUSTER, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY, SOFTBALL
Sterling Shuster graduated Magna Cum Laude earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Production in 2015 and currently owns a 3.92 GPA while pursuing an MBA at Loyola Marymount. A highly-decorated softball student-athlete and three-year team captain, Shuster earned conference Player of the Year honors as a first-year Lion and capped her career with a productive senior campaign, helping LMU to a second place WCC finish.
Shuster compiled a remarkable resume of success in the classroom as well and twice turned in a perfect 4.0 GPA as an undergraduate. A two-time WCC All-Academic Team first team selection, the Arcadia, California native was recognized on both the LMU Dean’s List and LMU Achievement Award Scholarship list eight times. Shuster served on the LMU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and produced and directed LMU’s entry in the NCAA “It’s On Us” campaign against Sexual Assault. In addition to a host of campus and community service endeavors, Shuster spearheaded efforts to sponsor two Special Olympians in the 2015 World Special Olympics.
KYLE WILTJER, GONZAGA UNIVERSITY, BASKETBALL
Kyle Wiltjer graduated from the Gonzaga University with a 3.19 GPA in Business Administration and posted a 3.72 GPA while completing his MBA from Gonzaga. The 2015-16 Preseason National Player of the Year compiled a remarkable career in two seasons with the Bulldogs. A two-time All-American at Gonzaga, Wiltjer scored 1,374 points, including 736 (20.4 per game) as a senior, good for fourth on the program’s single-season scoring chart. The Portland, Oregon native propelled the Bulldogs to back-to-back Sweet-16 appearances, capped by an Elite Eight run in 2015 where Gonzaga fell to eventual National Champion Duke.
A 2015-16 Senior CLASS Award All-American, Wiltjer captured Division I AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete of the Year accolades to cap his standout collegiate career in Spokane. As a senior, Wiltjer was named to several national player of the year watch lists, including the Naismith Trophy, the Wooden Award and the Robertson Trophy. Wiltjer was active in community service initiatives including outreach to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, the Union Gospel Mission and contributed to a Habitat for Humanity Build. A member of Gonzaga’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Wiltjer was involved with Nike’s N7 Foundation, an initiative to involve and engage the local Native American community.
MIKE GILLERAN SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR RECIPIENTS
2016 – Kyle Wiltjer (GON) and Sterling Shuster (LMU)
2015 – Johnny Dee (USD) and Alaysia Brown (USD)
2014 - Clarke Spinosa (USD) and Haiden Palmer (GON)
2013 - Matthew Dellavedova (SMC) and Ana Pontes (PEP)
2012 - Miles Batty (BYU) and Kim Hill (PEP)
2011 - Dylan Leslie (SMC), Jessica Tsao (POR)
2010 - Thomas Betterbed (POR), Jennifer Heinser (USF)
2009 - Greg Moss (LMU), Julie Rubenstein (PEP)
2008 - Tavo Hall (USF), Stephanie Cox (POR)
2007 - Richard Johnson (PEP), Kim McGivens (SCU)
2006 - Nick Kliebert (PEP), Christine Sinclair (POR)
2005 - Michael Putnam (PEP), Megan Kakadelas (SCU)
2004 - Blake Stepp (GON), Kate Murray (LMU) & Imani Dorsey (POR)
2003 - Jeff Kovar (LMU), Katherine Hull (PEP) & Aly Wagner (SCU)
2002 - Dan Dickau (GON), Danielle Slaton (SCU)
2001 - Michael Cortez (LMU), Anne Garrison (SCU)
2000 - Bryan Bothwell (POR), Susan Erpelding (USD)
1999 - Clemens Philippi (LMU), Brittany Lindhe (USF)
1998 - David Sivulich (SMC), Tracy Holman (LMU)
1997 - Uli Steidl (POR), Mollie Flint (SMC)
1996 - Brendan Graves (SCU), Valerie Gillon (USF)
1995 - Jacob Slania (USD), Margaret Krawiec (SCU)
1994 - Jeff Brown (GON), Sheri Brown (LMU)
1993 - Jason Boykoff (POR), Nikki Rosenfeldt (POR)
1992 - Jarrod Davis (GON), Martha Sheldon (POR)
1991 - Brenden Griffin (USD), Anja Bordt (SMC)
1990 - Joe DeBortoli (USF), Paula Mascari (USD)
1989 - Rick Hirtensteiner (PEP), Tracy Thorne (POR)
1988 - Wes Bilven (SCU), Mary Carlson (USF)
1987 - Steve Krallman (USD), Debbie Dunbar (USF)
1986 - John Bustos (USF), Chris Starr (NEV)
1985 - Bryce McPhee (GON)
1984 - John Stockton (GON)
1983 - Brandon Bennett (SMC)
1982 - Bill Dunlap (GON)
1981 - Al Smoot (USF)
1980 - Ted Wood (SMC)
1979 - Rodney Lee (USF)
1978 - Patrick McVeigh (SCU)
1977 - John O'Shaughnessy (SCU)
1976 - Dick Skophammer (PEP)
Female Award started after 1986