Will Licon, a member of the Men's Texas Longhorns Swimming and Diving team playfully pews water as he warms up in the Joe Jamail Swim Center as he prepares for the U.S. Olympic Time Trials. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Swimming & Diving

Texas swimmer Will Licon named Big 12 men’s athlete of the year

Longhorn senior, who has 11 NCAA titles, joins impressive group like Ricky Williams, Derrick Johnson, Vince Young

Posted July 27th, 2017


Texas swimmer Will Licon has joined a rare group that includes Ricky Williams, Derrick Johnson and Vince Young. The four-time NCAA champion was named the Big 12 men’s athlete of the year.

Licon, a senior from El Paso, shared the award with Kansas guard Frank Mason. Still, it’s the first time a UT athlete has won the league’s top honor since Taylor Jungmann (baseball) grabbed the award after the 2010-11 athletic year.

Nominations are submitted to the league office, and the award is determined by media and fan voting.


“It’s really special and humbling to receive this award, and I appreciate the consideration from the media panel and the fans,” Licon said in a statement released by UT.

“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.”

Licon finished his UT career with 11 NCAA titles (seven individual, four relay), 18 All-America honors, 16 Big 12 titles and was twice named the Big 12 swimmer of the year (2015, 2017). He also holds Big 12 and UT records in four events.

This was another banner year for one of UT’s most decorated swimmers. He became the fourth swimmer in collegiate history — and first in 17 years — to win four NCAA individual titles during his career. Last March, Licon won three NCAA tiles and helped the Longhorns win their 13th national title.

The sport management major was also a member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s honor roll.

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

Big 12 Athletes of the Year (Texas)

2016-17Will LiconSwimming
2010-11Taylor JungmannBaseball
2008-09Destinee HookerVolleyball/Track and Field
2005-06Cat OstermanSoftball
2005-06Vince YoungFootball
2004-05 Cat OstermanSoftball
2004-05Derrick JohnsonFootball
2002-03Cat OstermanSoftball
1999-2000Erin AldrichVolleyball/Track and Field
1998-99Suziann ReidTrack and Field
1998-99Ricky WilliamsFootball
1997-98Vera IlyinaWomen's Diving
1996-97Nanceen PerryTrack and Field

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