The Pac-12 gives out the prestigious Tom Hansen Conference medal to the top senior male and female athlete at each of the 12 conference schools. The medal, which was first given in 1960-61 was renamed in 2009 in honor of Tom Hansen, who was the commissioner of the Pac-10 for 26 years, retiring in 2009. The two recipients for Utah were Brandon Taylor (men's basketball) and Breanna Hughes (women's gymnastics). This is the second year in a row that a men's basketball player received the medal, with Delon Wright winning it last year, and the third year in a row for a women's gymnast with Mary Beth Lofgren earned the medal in 2013-2014 and Georgia Dabritz in 2014-15. This is a great honor for both Hughes and Taylor to cap off their excellent Utah careers.
Below is the full press release from the University of Utah
SAN FRANCISCO-Utah basketball player Brandon Taylor and gymnast Breanna Hughes were announced today as recipients of the prestigious Pac-12's Tom Hansen Conference Medal. The Tom Hansen Conference Medal is awarded annually to each Pac-12 member institution's outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.
The Pac-12 has named conference medal winners every year since 1960-61. The 24 Tom Hansen Medal recipients from 2015-16 will be featured on a Pride of the Pac special on Thursday, July 6 at 8 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Networks.
Taylor led Utah in steals and assists while helping guide the Utes to the second round of the NCAA tournament this past season. A Pac-12 All-Defensive First Team selection, Taylor closed out his four-year career with the Utes ranked No. 3 all-time with 164 career steals. He also ranks among the top-10 in three-pointers, assists and games played.
A native of Los Angeles, Taylor graduated this past May with a bachelor's degree in psychology with a cumulative GPA of 3.435. Taylor was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic first team his final three seasons at Utah and was named the league's Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2015-16.
Taylor was an active volunteer in numerous community service projects throughout the Salt Lake City area.
Hughes, a five-time All-American, was the 2016 Pac-12 all-around and vault champion, and also won the NCAA regional all-around title while leading Utah to a berth at the NCAA Championships. She was a 2016 first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American and the Pac-12 Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The Champlin, Minn., native earned a bachelor's degree in May in human development and family studies with a cumulative GPA of 3.965. She will finish another degree in health, society and policy, while taking nursing pres-requisites, in the spring of 2017.
Active in the community, Hughes volunteered at elementary schools in the Salt Lake Valley (reading and teaching kids the importance of living healthy lives), as well as at Capital Church with the children's ministry and at the Ronald McDonald House.