Cuda Repeats as UAA Player of the Year; Coaching Staff & 16 Total CWRU Players Receive Honors

Cuda Repeats as UAA Player of the Year; Coaching Staff & 16 Total CWRU Players Receive Honors

Case Western Reserve University senior quarterback Rob Cuda was named the 2017 University Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year, highlighting list of 16 total Spartans who were selected to receive all-conference honors.  In addition, CWRU Head Coach Greg Debeljak and his assistant coaches were selected as the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year for 2017.

This is the second-straight year that Cuda has been named the UAA Offensive Player of the Year, joining former Spartan quarterback Dan Whalen as the program's only multiple-time recipients of the league's offensive award.  It is the seventh time overall that a Spartan player has been named the UAA Offensive Player of the Year.

Cuda has started all 11 games at quarterback for CWRU, completing 57.8% of his passes for 2,585 yards and 28 touchdowns, with just five interceptions, while also rushing for 425 yards and six touchdowns.  The senior was named to the All-UAA First Team for the third-straight season on the All-UAA First Team, and was also selected as the PAC Offensive Player of the Year last week.  Cuda was named the UAA Athlete of the Week twice this season.

The Spartans dominated the offensive all-conference team, occupying eight of the 12 slots on the first team.  Joining Cuda on the list of all-association first team honorees on offense were senior running backs Aaron Aguilar and Jacob Burke, junior wide receiver Justin Phan, senior tight end Zech Medved, senior center Gage Blair, senior guard Ryan DeMarinis and junior tackle Steven Bachie.  In addition, senior wide receiver Zak Hurd received an honorable mention to the team.

Five Spartans earned All-UAA First Team defensive honors, including junior defensive lineman Cameron Brown and Ian Henderson, senior linebackers Zach Lyon and Justin McMahon and senior safety Cody Calhoun.  Senior linebacker Alex Habeeb was named an honorable mention.

Senior kicker Ben Carniol also received All-UAA First Team recognition, after successfully making eight-of-11 field goal attempts and 59-of-61 extra point tries.

Blair and Burke each earned All-UAA honors for the fourth-straight year, while Cuda, DeMarinis, Phan, and Calhoun each claimed all-league honors for the third time over their careers, and Bachie, Brown, Henderson, McMahon, Carniol and Habeeb secured their second All-UAA awards.  It was the first UAA honor for Aguilar, Medved, Lyon and Hurd.

CWRU's 16 players receiving all-association recognition led all conference teams.  Unlike previous seasons, only a first team and honorable mentions were selected by the UAA coaches.

The Spartans' coaching staff was named the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year for the seventh time in program history, all occurring during Debeljak's 14 years at its helm.  Along with Debeljak, assistant coaches Dereck Slesh, Warren Miller, Ben Lolli, Kevin Burke, Anthony Cicione, Mark Murray, Conor Reilly, Jake Schaefer, Jim Stephens and Mike Devereaux all shared the honor, after helping to lead the Spartans to the fifth undefeated regular season in program history.

The 16th-ranked Spartans finished the 2017 regular season with a perfect 10-0 record, including a 2-0 mark in UAA games with a 45-28 win over Washington University (Mo.) and a 41-34 overtime win at Carnegie Mellon.  Case Western Reserve claimed its seventh UAA Championship in program history (and its fifth outright conference title) during the season, receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA playoff field.  The Spartans topped 11th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan University in the first round, and will play at the second-ranked University of Mount Union on Saturday, November 25th at 12:00 p.m. in the second round.