Senior football and baseball scholar-athlete Cole Bixenman has been named Linfield College’s Male Athlete of the Year following a vote of the athletic department’s coaching staff.
A three-year letterwinner in football, Bixenman was a member of two Northwest Conference championship teams that reached at least the second round of the NCAA playoffs and extended Linfield’s national-record streak of consecutive winning seasons to 55.
The backup quarterback saw action in 11 games in 2011, providing 201 total yards of offense. He completed 16 of 27 pass attempts for 188 yards, 17.1 per game, and rushed for 13 total yards.
He threw for two touchdowns on the year, both of which came in a league game against Pacific.
“Cole is the consummate teammate and a great leader,” said football head coach Joseph Smith. “You knew he’d be ready to go when his number was called. That’s not an easy thing to do.”
Also a standout in baseball, Bixenman is three-year starter for the Wildcats at catcher. As a senior, he has enjoyed his most prolific season yet, being named the 2011 Northwest Conference Player of the Year. His play helped the ‘Cats clinch their second-straight league crown and qualify for the NCAA Division III Baseball Championships.
He stands as Linfield’s all-time leader in runs batted in (167) and is currently tied for the most home runs (32) with more games yet to play in the NCAA Abilene Regional. He enters the postseason hitting .373 and leads the team with 10 home runs and 44 RBI.
Equally as remarkable as his athletic career was his success as a student. He was a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-West Region Team honoree, carrying a 3.78 GPA in finance. He was also a three-time NWC Scholar-Athlete, and will graduate from Linfield May 29.
“Cole has had a tremendous career here at Linfield as a two-sport athlete,” said baseball head coach Scott Brosius. “He really epitomizes what a scholar-athlete is all about.”
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