By David Salley
HSU Sports Information
ARKADELPHIA — Henderson State was one of 26 schools and two conferences recognized as finalists for the 2022 Division II Award of Excellence on Monday afternoon, the NCAA announced.
The Division II Award of Excellence recognizes initiatives in the past year that exemplify the Division II philosophy, community engagement and student-athlete leadership. The Reddies, who are the representative for the Great American Conference, received the accolade for their Military and First Responders Appreciation Day on Sept. 11, 2021.
The event, which coincided with the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and was co-coordinated by the Henderson State ROTC, granted all active duty and retired military and first responders, as well as their families, free entrance to the home opener for the Henderson State Football team at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium and Ruggles Field.
Additionally, the athletic department ordered and sold special H-Reddies camouflage hats at the campus bookstore during the week of the game and on-site during the contest. The proceeds from the hats, which were worn by the Reddies’ coaching staff during the game, went to benefit Henderson’s ROTC program.
“I am incredibly proud of our department for being selected with this outstanding group as a finalist for the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence,” Director of Athletics Shawn Jones said. “Milliary and First Responders Appreciation Day was a great collaboration with Henderson State ROTC, our campus and community to honor and thank true heroes.”
A committee of athletics administrators determined this year’s finalists, and the national Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee selects the winner, who will be announced at the Division II business session on Jan. 22 at the 2022 NCAA Convention.