Menlo College Lands 5 Individuals Nominated for NAIA Awards

2019 NAIA Awards

ATHERTON, Calif. – Recently announced by the Golden State Athletic Conference office, five individuals from Menlo College Athletics have been selected as conference representatives to be nominated for NAIA awards. These five were chosen by a committee of voters in the conference to represent GSAC winners who will now be put forward for the national awards from the office of the NAIA.

John Paine – Emil S. Liston Scholarship Award

Men’s Basketball junior John Paine is being nominated at the NAIA level for the Emil S. Liston Scholarship Award. Named in honor of the NAIA’s first executive secretary and the prime mover behind the men’s basketball tournament, the Emil Liston Scholarship Award has been presented annually since 1950 to one junior men’s and one junior women’s basketball student-athlete who has shown high athletic and scholastic achievement. This marks the first time in his career that Paine will be nominated for an NAIA award.

In just three seasons, Paine has already eclipsed 1,000 career points in his Menlo career and ranks third all-time (just 124 away from tying the record). He averages 14.2 points per game through his three-year career thus far, and this year he set a career-best and team-best with 5.9 rebounds per game (averages 5.2 for his career). Paine shoots the ball at a 50.4% clip for his career, while also shooting 41.7% from three-point range and over 80% from the free throw line. In the classroom, Paine owns a 3.90 cumulative GPA and this year was a GSAC and Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete, while also being awarded to Menlo’s Alpha Chi honors society.

Anthony Orozco – Dr. Leroy Walker Champions of Character Award

Men’s Wrestling junior Anthony Orozco is being nominated at the NAIA level for the Dr. Leroy Walker Champions of Character Award. The award is one of the most prestigious awards in the NAIA and honors outstanding student-athletes for their academics, athletics, leadership and dedication to living the core values of Champions of Character. This marks the first time in Orozco’s career that he has been nominated for an NAIA award.

The Murrieta native capped off an impressive season winning an individual title at 184lbs. at the NAIA National Championships, where he was also named the NAIA Tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler. The All-American amassed a 37-2 overall record that included a CCC Championship at the same weight class and CCC Wrestler of the Year honors. Earning 2019 CCC Academic All-Conference honors, Orozco maintains a 3.59 GPA in Accounting, as well as, being named a 2019 Daktronics NAIA Scholar Athlete and a member of the Google Cloud Academic All-District team (At-Large).

Anthony also participated in a variety of service projects that the men’s wrestling team has spearheaded in the past two seasons. One was a partnership with Dethrone Gym to help raise money for LiveMoves, a nonprofit who helps displaced and homeless individuals and families in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Another was a service project with Careful Movers, a local Bay Area powerhouse in the moving industry, where wrestlers provided a full service start to finish moving service to the new residents moving into housing facility for people with disabilities or for adults who cannot or choose not to live independently. Along with his teammates, they spent over 140 hours volunteering our manual labor to the residents completing a total of 5 moves saving a total of over $20,000.

Joey Martinez – NAIA Coach of Character Award

Director of Wrestling, Joey Martinez, is being nominated at the NAIA level for the NAIA Coach of Character Award. The annual award is given to a head coach of an NAIA institution who has been outstanding in embracing the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character initiative by deliberately teaching character to his/her student-athletes through sport. This marks the first time that Martinez has been nominated by the GSAC for an NAIA award.

Coach Martinez led his team through a variety of community service outreach programs. Last year his team participated in a fitness challenge partnering with Dethrone Gym to help raise money for LifeMoves, a non-profit organization who helps displaced and homeless individuals. His team solicited donations based on the miles ridden on bikes. Over $2,000 was raised by the Menlo College Wrestling Team.

The former NWCA Coach of the Year in 2018 also implemented a character course called Wednesday Wisdoms, a forty-five-minute presentation where the team developed both performance and moral character skills and went over wrestling topics for the upcoming season.

This year, Coach Martinez helped spearhead a relationship with Careful Movers, a local Bay Area powerhouse in the moving industry. His team provided a full service start to finish moving service to the new residents moving into housing facility for people with disabilities or for adults who cannot or choose not to live independently. They spent over 140 hours volunteering our manual labor to the residents completing a total of 5 moves saving a total of over $20,000. They successfully helped people who were recovering from health issues such as a stroke, heart problems, and many other health complications and in no condition to move settle into their new residence with no financial stress.

Aaron Gillespie – Clarence “Ike” Pearson Award

Aaron Gillespie is being nominated at the NAIA level for the Clarence “Ike” Pearson Award, presented annually to a member of the NAIA-Sports Information Directors Association (NAIA-SIDA) to honor outstanding contributions to the profession. This marks the second time in as many seasons that Gillespie has earned the nomination through the conference-level.

Gillespie came to Menlo College as the Sports Information Director in December of 2012 and was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Communications in 2016. More recently, he spearheaded a complete rebrand of Menlo College Athletics before the 2017-18 school year, including branding, social media, and website redesign. Following the 2018-19 year, Gillespie helped Menlo College take second place in the website design contest during the NAIA-SIDA Publication Contest, the first time the Oaks have been honored in the publication contest. During his time at Menlo, he has created multiple apps for Menlo College Athletics, including a mobile site and a fan-rewards app.

Gillespie has helped host several conference tournaments across two conferences during his time at Menlo (Cal Pac – Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball. GSAC – Baseball, soccer opening round contests, Softball, Women’s Basketball). In addition, he travels with the Menlo Men’s Wrestling team to Nationals every year to provide live coverage.

Brian Brownfield – Sheri Pine Sports Information Director (SID) of the Year Award

Announced earlier this month, Brian Brownfield was named the GSAC’s Sheri Pine Sports Information Director of the Year, as voted on by SID’s within the conference. With this award, Brownfield will now move on to the NAIA level to be in contention for NAIA SID of the Year. This marks the first time Brownfield has been nominated for an NAIA award.

A 2016 graduate of Menlo College, Brownfield joined the Athletics Department full-time in January of 2017 as its Sports Information Coordinator. In his role, Brownfield is best known for being the “Voice of the Oaks” as the primary play-by-play broadcaster for nearly every Menlo College Athletics event over the course of the season. In addition to his broadcasting duties, Brian serves as the primary media contact for the College’s 16 varsity sports teams, hosts, writes, and produces a weekly talk show ‘Unrooted’ which features coaches and student-athletes over the course of a season, updates the official department website www.menloathletics.com and its social media channels.

In addition to his work at Menlo College, Brian provided his expertise to both neutral site GSAC championships as well as the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship. This year alone, Brownfield was on the call as the color commentator for the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship featured on ESPN 3 as well as on play-by-play for nearly all of the Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Softball GSAC tournament contests.