MORGANTOWN-West Virginia University redshirt senior Michael Molinari of Parkersburg is one of 20 Big 12 student/athletes who have been selected to receive the 2013-14 Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship announced by the league's office on Tuesday.
An academic All-Big 12 first team selection the past two seasons, Molinari was joined on the honor unit by the Mountaineers' Sarah Martinelli (track, cross country). Named in honor of the late Dr. Prentice Gautt, the list of all-time recipients has grown to 348 since the inception of the league in 1996-97. To date, the Big 12 has provided more than $2.3 million for postgraduate education. The individual grants began at $2,500 during that first year to $9,000 in 2011-12.
Molinari, who is majoring in sport management, is a 2010 graduate of Parkersburg South.
After being redshirted his first season in Morgantown, he served as one of the team's punters and as the holder on field goals and extra points. positions he continued to man during the 2012 season.
Last season the former Patriot added performing kickoffs to his duties. He averaged 63.2 yards on 43 kickoffs with 14 touchbacks and was named the Mountaineers' special teams champion following WVU's win over Oklahoma State.
Molinari, who has played in 38 career games, was named as one of the team's captains for the spring and heads into his final season in the top two spots at punter, plackekicker, holder and kickoff specialist.
Criteria for the awards includes a cumulative grade point average of 3.200 on a 4.000 scale, participation in at least two years of intercollegiate athletes at the nominee's respective institution and completion of athletics' eligibility. The student/athletes also must graduate form their respective member institutions within 15 months of their selection for a postgraduate scholarship and are expected to enroll in graduate/professional schools within two years of graduation.
The rest of the list includes Baylor's Kathryn Ludlow (soccer) and Nate Goodwin (baseball), Iowa State's Sarah Norris (swimming) and Jeff Woody (football), Elizabeth Scherer (rowing) and Kellum Schneider (track) from Kansas, Petra Niedemayerova (tennis) and Jared Moore (baseball) from Kansas State, Oklahoma's Lara Albright (gymnastics) and Kendric Maple (wrestling), OSU's Kate Kujawa (cross country, track) and Taylor Monaghan (cross country, track), TCU's Shannon Speir (cross country, track) and Justin Chambers (track), Johanna Neuber (rowing) and John Curtiss (baseball) of Texas, and Hayley Haagsma (soccer) and Taylor Powell (softball) from Texas Tech.