May 12, 2007
Lipscomb shortstop Ben Williams was presented with the 2007 Ken Dugan Award, the highest honor awarded to a Lipscomb University baseball player.
In a ceremony prior to the second game on Saturday, members of the Dugan family presented Williams with the award for his contribution to this year's team. Along with Dugan's daughter, Christie Dugan Turner, two of Dugan's grandchildren, Blair and Chase, helped in the presentation.
"Ben Williams is the heart and soul of this team," Lipscomb Assistant Coach Brian Ryman said. "He has the leadership qualities that you can't teach a baseball player. If I had nine players just like Ben, my job would be a lot easier."
The most prestigious award given to a Lipscomb baseball player, the Ken Dugan Award was established in 2001 to honor the former Lipscomb Hall of Fame baseball coach Ken Dugan. The legendary Dugan led the Bison program from 1960 through 1996, winning two National Championships and more than eleven hundred games.
"The first thing we talked about in the steering committee was Coach Dugan and what he was all about as a person and a coach," steering committee member Randy Bostic said. "We then talked to the coaches to see who had those qualities, and Ben Williams was the overwhelming choice."
The Ken Dugan Award recipient is selected by the Lipscomb Baseball Steering Committee, and is given each year to the player that best displays the following characteristics:
1 .A commitment to excellence as a baseball player
2. An uncommon display of Christian character
3. A burning desire to be a true champion
4. Outstanding leadership qualities
5. A player with an unbridled passion for the game of baseball
All of these characteristics were important to Ken Dugan in helping cultivate a player into a true champion.
Despite only being a junior, the Hahira, Georgia native has made a significant contribution to a very young Bisons team. Starting in every game this season for the Bisons, Williams ranks in the top five on the team in 12 different statistical categories for the Bisons.
Williams ranks first on the team in total plate appearances (225), total at bats (200), steal attempts (24), and is tied for the lead in walks with 21 this season. Williams posted both a seven and a nine game hitting streak this season.
"Ben Williams is well-deserving of the Dugan Award," Lipscomb Athletic Director Steve Potts said. "He has all the qualities that the award entails, and is the type of player that Coach Dugan always wanted at Lipscomb."
Williams transferred to Lipscomb this season after playing for Gordon College his freshman and sophomore years. Ben Williams is the son of Gary and Louise Williams.
Three former Dugan Award winners, Seth Kuwik (2005), Jeremy George (2002), and Larry Nesbitt (2001) were also honored during the ceremony.
Other Dugan Award recipients are the 2003 winner, Chris Parker, who graduated Friday night from the University of Tennessee School of Law; the 2004 winner, Derek Caraway; and the 2006 winner, Tadd Brewer, who is playing professional baseball in the Los Angeles Angels organization.
Dugan Award Winners: