OXFORD, Ohio—Miami University hockey’s Bryon Paulazzo and women’s cross country/track and field’s Erica Howes are the 2014 recipients of the seventh annual Spirit of Miami Award, presented to both a female and male senior student-athlete for each of their exceptional enthusiastic commitments to their teams.

The awards were presented Monday night (April 14) at the athletic department's annual Senior Dessert at Miami’s Shriver Center.

The Spirit of Miami Award is presented annually to the seniors who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication to their team. They were the "spirit" of the team, the team members who strived without recognition, achieved humbly for the benefit of the team and passionately contributed behind-the-scenes for the sheer privilege of experience, loyalty and investment in academic and athletic opportunity.

The winners personify the Miami University motto...

"Prodesse quam conspici" - to accomplish without being conspicuous.

Paulazzo majors in sports studies with a minor in coaching. He played in 105 career games for Miami, helping the hockey team to three NCAA Tournament appearances, a CCHA Tournament title and a CCHA regular-season championship. Paulazzo is regarded by his coaches as being the consummate teammate, leader and student. He served as a member of RedHawk Council and is noted as one of the team leaders in getting involved with community service.

“Bryon works his hardest in all avenues of life and always brings a positive and encouraging attitude,” said Miami head hockey coach Enrico Blasi in his nomination of Paulazzo for the award. “He is widely regarded as the most-respected player among his teammates and has spent time as an assistant captain this season.”

Howes owns a 3.95 GPA and majors in nutrition. Howes has raced for four years in track and field, earning Academic All-MAC honors for indoor and outdoor track and field as a sophomore. She also competed four seasons for the RedHawk cross country team, scoring at the MAC Championships as a junior, but had her senior season cut short due to illness.

“Erica Howes was unable to compete the second half of her senior cross country season and, although frustrated and extremely disappointed, it didn’t stop her from getting in her car to travel and cheer her teammates on at meets,” said Miami head women’s cross country/track and field coach Kelly Phillips in her nomination of Howes for the award. “She is not only a captain in title, but she showed the true meaning of what a teammate is all about. She put her own frustrations aside to help her fellow teammates win a MAC Championship this fall and really was a motivating force behind the team’s winning 2013 championship rings.”

John and Lois Cocanougher, a Miami merger, created an endowment and named the award in honor of John's father--John E. Cocanougher, Sr. Mr. and Mrs. Cocanougher were present for Monday night's ceremony.

Spirit of Miami Award Winners:

2014 -- Bryon Paulazzo, hockey; Erica Howes, women’s cross country/track and field

2013 -- Ian Joyce, men’s swimming; Laura Krueger, women’s swimming

2012 -- Brian Gallagher, men’s cross country/track and field; Martha Buckley, synchronized skating

2011 -- Sean Mock, men’s basketball; Rachelle Boff, soccer

2010 -- Andrew Mock, golf; Lindsay Randall, softball

2009 -- Rion Robinson, football; Stephanie Wilson, soccer

2008 -- Charlie Effinger, hockey; Sarah Fletcher, women’s track and field

2007 -- Dan Leonard, baseball; Jamie Morris, men’s swimming; Shannon Chew, soccer; Laura Vlasek, tennis