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Football: Hanifan to be honored with Seaborg Award

Note: Been a busy week and I’m a couple days late with this. But it’s worth posting now:

Jim Hanifan, a former Cal All-American who led the nation in receiving in 1954 then went on to become an offensive line coaches in the NFL, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2014 Glenn T. Seaborg Award.

The award is named after the former University of California chancellor and 1951 Nobel Prize-winning scientist, and is presented annually to a former Cal football player for his career accomplishments who represents the honored Cal principles and traditions of excellence in academics, athletics, leadership and attitude.

Hanifan will be recognized for the honor during a ceremony during the Cal-Colorado football game on Sept. 27.

“Jim is a terrific example of a Golden Bear football player who has distinguished himself in his chosen profession at a very high level,” said Jack Hart, chair of the Seaborg Award Board of Directors.

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Softball: Former Cal star Valerie Arioto up for big award

Former Cal softball star Valerie Arioto was named a finalist for the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswoman of the Year, it was announced Monday.

Arioto (2008-12) was selected in the team category for her achievements with Team USA over a one-year period that ended July 31.

Arioto, from Pleasanton, helped the U.S. squad to a silver-medal finish at the International Softball Federation’s World Championships in Haarlem, Netherland, batting .474 with five home runs, 14 RBIs and 12 runs scored.

Sportswoman of the Year award winners will be determined by a combination of public vote (50 percent) and the WSF’s Awards Committee’s vote (50 percent). The winners will be the two athletes – one individual sport finalist and one team sport finalist – who receive the highest combined share of a public vote and the Awards Committee vote.

Fans can visit  http://wspr.tc/VoteTeamSOY201 to cast their vote for the Sportswoman of the Year award through 11:59 p.m. ET on Sept. 8.

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Football: Harper, Leininger join watch lists

 Juniors Chris Harper and Cole Leininger were named to preseason watch lists Wednesday, with Harper earning a spot on the wide receivers list assembled by the College Football Performance Awards, Leininger for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top punter.

Harper is one of 42 wide receivers on the list with the winner of the award to be announced on January 14, 2015.

Harper has been Cal’s most productive receiver over the last two seasons and is the team’s active career leader in receptions (111), receiving yards (1,396), receiving touchdowns (7).

Last season, Harper caught 70 passes for 852 yards and five touchdowns.

Leininger is one of the Ray Guy Award’s 25 preseason candidates for the first time and is a member of the award’s watch list for the second consecutive year.

Leininger is coming off a 2013 sophomore campaign in which he increased his punting average by 3.0 yards per punt to a 42.9 mark for the eighth-best avearge in school history.

His 41.5 yards per punt career average ranks No. 10 on Cal’s all-time list.

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Football: Goff named to another QB watch list

Doesn’t it seem like there are an awful lot of college football awards and the preseason watch lists that go with them?

Once upon a time there was the Heisman Trophy. Now everyone’s giving out hardware.

Cal sophomore Jared Goff, named to the Maxwell Award watch list on Monday, was among 40 quarterbacks chosen to the College Football Performance Awards Quarterback Trophy.

Eight of the 40 nominees — 20 percent of them — are from the Pac-12. The others: ASU’s Taylor Kelly, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, OSU’s Sean Mannion, Stanford’s Kevin Hogan, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, USC;s Cody Kessler and WSU’s Connor Halliday.

That’s a QB from every conference school except Washington, Arizona, Colorado and Utah.

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Football: Goff, Muhammad on watch lists

Cal sophomores Jared Goff and Khalfani Muhammad are part of early-season watch lists for a couple national awards.

Goff, who set Cal’s single-season passing yardage record (3,508 yards) as a freshman last fall, is on the Maxwell Award preseason watch list. The Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top college football player, dates back to 1937.

Goff is among 16 Pac-12 players and seven quarterbacks from the conference on the list. Other QBs from the Pac-12 in the running are: Stanford’s Kevin Hogan, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, ASU’s Taylor, Kelly, USC’s Cody Kessler, Oregon State’s Sean Mannion and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced on Nov. 3.

Muhammad is on the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation’s most versatile player. As a freshman last season, Muhammad led Cal with 445 rushing yards and a 6.0 per-carry average, and totaled 1,638 all-purpose yards, including 46 kickoff returns for 1,003 yards.

Muhammad is one of seven Pac-12 players on the 47-man watch list. Others include Stanford’s Ty Montgomery, USC’s Nelson Agholor and UCLA’s Myles Jack.

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Hall of Fame: Natalie Coughlin leads 2014 class

Swimmer Natalie Coughlin, winner of 11 NCAA titles and 12 Olympic medals, heads the seven-member 2014 class of inductees into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.

Also part of Cal’s 29th Hall of Fame class are gymnast Tom Beach, swimmer Anthony Ervin, golfer Sarah Huarte, track and field athlete Grace Upshaw, football coach Ray Willsey and contributor Rick Cronk, who earned the Hall of Fame Service Award.

Induction ceremonies will be held Oct. 17 at the Greek Orthodox Church Conference Center in Oakland. Ticket information for the event can be found at www.bigcsociety.com.

Here’s a capsule on each inductee:

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Swimming: Franklin is World Sportswoman of Year

Cal freshman swimmer Missy Franklin added another honor to her resume when she was named the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year during a ceremony Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Franklin earned the award after her record-setting performance at the 2013 World Championships, where she won six gold medals – most ever for a woman at the event.

“Oh my gosh,” exclaimed Franklin, the youngest-ever winner of the women’s award and the first swimmer so honored. “I don’t know what I’m doing here.”

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Women’s basketball: Boyd a Lieberman finalist

Cal junior Brittany Boyd is one of five finalists for the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced. The award goes to the nation’s top point guard.

Boyd, who also has been a candidate for the Wade Tropy, Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy this season, averages 14.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.9 steals for the Golden Bears.

She was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection and a Pac-12 All-Defensive team pick. Boyd leads the conference in steals and assists.

In her most recent game, against Washington State, she had 13 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.

Other finalists for the Lieberman award are Odyssey Sims of Baylor, Jerica Coley of Florida International, Moriah Jefferson of UConn and Heather Butler and Tennessee-Martin.

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Basketball: Another honor for Cobbs

Cal senior guard Justin Cobbs was named a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) First Team All-District 20 selection.

Cobbs is part of the five-member first team along with Arizona’s Nick Johnson, UCLA’s Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams, and Washington’s C.J. Wilcox.

In all, 252 players from 25 districts around the nation were recognized. Cobbs is now eligible for selection to the NABC Division I All-America team, which will be announced at a later date.

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Women’s basketball: Cal senior Mikayla Lyles wins Robin Roberts broadcasting scholarship award

Cal women’s basketball player Mikayla Lyles has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Robin Roberts/WBCA Broadcasting Scholarship, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced Wednesday.

A senior from Pleasanton, Lyles will receive the $4,500 Robin Roberts/WBCA Broadcasting Scholarship Award presented annually to one female collegiate basketball player who intends to pursue graduate work and a career in sports communications or journalism.

“I am so proud of Mikayla for earning this prestigious award, and for being recognized on a national level for the qualities that we’ve seen her display day in and day out over the course of her time as a student-athlete at Cal,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said.

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