Former Texas swimmer Will Licon has been named Big 12 Men’s Athlete of the Year for the 2016-17 season, the Big 12 announced on Thursday.
Licon is co-recipient of the award along with former Kansas point guard Frank Mason III. It’s also the first time a swimmer, male or female, has won Athlete of the Year in the Big 12. Licon is the 11th Longhorn to have won Big 12 Athlete of the Year, a group that includes Vince Young, Ricky Williams and Cat Osterman.
“It’s really special and humbling to receive this award, and I appreciate the consideration from the media panel and the fans,” Licon said. “I’ve had the opportunity to watch Frank Mason through the years, and I’m honored to share this award with him. College swimming and diving is stacked with some really deep conferences. My teammates and I are happy to have carried the flag for the Big 12 and keep the league on top these last three years.”
This past season, Licon won an NCAA title in all five events he competed in. He ended his career in Austin with 11 championships in total. His performance helped the Longhorns win a third-straight NCAA men’s swimming and diving title, giving Texas 13 all-time. Licon was also named Big 12 Men’s Swimmer of the Year for the second time in three years.
“This wouldn’t even be remotely possible if not for the training environment we have at Texas,” Licon said. “I’ve had the best coaches I could have ever asked for – from Eddie Reese and Kris Kubik to Wyatt Collins and Chase Kreitler – and my teammates are like brothers to me. This is a team award, and it’s all for them.”