June 16, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Bo Carter
Two-way star is NCBWA's player of the year

OMAHA, Neb. (NCBWA) The most productive two-way player in Division I this season, University of Houston junior All-American Brad Lincoln has been voted the recipient of the 20th annual Dick Howser Trophy as the 2006
college baseball player of the year. Lincoln was honored in a ceremony this morning in Omaha, prior to the start of the College World Series.

Dick Howser Trophy"We are thrilled to be presenting Brad Lincoln of Houston with the 2006 Dick Howser Trophy," said Howser Trophy chair David Feaster of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. "He embodies all the skills of a great student-athlete and has represented his university in outstanding fashion. His character counted in the voting and selection process, and he showed great courage, while facing tremendous competition and excelling throughout the season."

"This is like the Heisman Trophy of college baseball," said Houston Head Coach Rayner Noble. "An honor like this puts the entire program in the limelight. Obviously, Brad is in the center of the spotlight with the season that he had, but an award like this casts light on the entire university."

Lincoln is a consensus first team All-American who has earned first-team honors as both a pitcher and a utility player. He compiled a sparkling 12-2 record with a 1.69 ERA and struck out 152 batters in 127.2 innings of work. Those numbers were even better in Conference USA games only, where he assembled a 7-0 record with a 1.28 ERA.

Lincoln's 2006 strikeout total ranked as the third-best mark in both Houston and Conference USA single-season history and moved him into third place on UH's career chart with 293 punchouts.

He was named the C-USA Pitcher of the Week four times during the regular season and was honored as the Pro-Line Cap/NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week after tossing a five-hit shutout with nine strikeouts in the series opener at No. 1 Rice on May 12.

David Feaster of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Dick Howser Trophy winner Brad Lincoln and Houston head coach Rayner Noble.

However, Lincoln was also one of the Cougars' leading hitters all season. In 2006, he compiled a .295 batting average with 14 home runs and a team-leading 53 RBIs. Among his highlights at the plate was when he blasted a three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to lead the Cougars to an 11-10 win over Texas-San Antonio in the season on opener on Feb. 7.

He was honored as the C-USA Pitcher of the Year, while also being named to the league's first team, but was recognized at DH on the C-USA All-Tournament Team for his performance at the plate.

Lincoln hit a home run and earned a pitching win in games at UC Irvine and against C-USA rival Tulane earlier this season. With that, he joined current San Diego Padre pitcher Woody Williams as the only players in UH history to hit a home run and collect a win from the mound in the same game twice during their careers.

"When you talk about Brad Lincoln and his season, the No. 1 thing that you talk about is consistency," added Noble. "There were no ups and downs to what he did this year, and what he did was on the brink of spectacular. And we're just talking about his pitching. He hit in the middle of our lineup and produced all year long. He is a true Player of the Year, because he did it on the mound and at the plate."

In voting by members of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, in conjunction with the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Area Chamber of Commerce, the UH righty joins a heady list of pitchers, who have moved from the Howser Trophy to even greater heights. Three of the winners in the last decade have displayed their talents at the Major League Baseball level, Jason Jennings (1999), Mark Prior (2001) and Jered Weaver (2004).

He was the 4th player selected in the 2006 MLB draft first round by the Pittsburgh Pirates, marking the highest that a player from the University of Houston or Conference USA had ever been selected. Expected to focus on pitching in the pro ranks, Lincoln helped the Cougars to a top 10 ranking during the regular season and led the Cougars to the Norman (Okla.) Regional of the 2006 NCAA championship.

In addition to Friday's presentation in Omaha, there will be a special ceremony at a University of Houston home football game this fall to honor the right-hander before Cougar fans, students and administrators.

The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award.

Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life.

A Florida native, Howser was a two-time All-America shortstop at Florida State University (1957-58), then coached the Seminoles in 1979 after a career as a major league player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, Howser returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus is named for Howser.

The winner's name is inscribed on the permanent trophy, a bronze bust of Howser permanently displayed at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, home of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the 1999 NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four. Both the winner and his school receive a special trophy to keep.

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce is in its 107th year of existence in 2006. The organization has long been a vital force in the baseball affairs of the city, both in spring training and during the pursuit of a major league baseball franchise for the Tampa Bay area, and continues its solid role in the 21st Century.

NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport's only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.

The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser's death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, RHP, Long Beach State, 2004; and Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005.

2006 Dick Howser Trophy:
April 27: Dick Howser Trophy watch list
May 18: Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists
June 8: Dick Howser Trophy finalists
June 16: Houston's Lincoln wins 2006 Dick Howser Trophy

Related link:
Official site (dickhowsertrophy.com)