June 14, 2017
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Rising junior men’s basketball guard Jon Elmore (Charleston, W.Va.) and senior softball players Morgan Zerkle (Milton, W.Va.) and Jordan Dixon (Edmond, Okla.) have been named Marshall’s 2016-17 Student-Athletes of the Year.
The male award is named for longtime Herd coach and administrator Ed Starling, while the female award is named for Dr. Dorothy Hicks, who founded women's athletics at Marshall and is a member of the Marshall Athletics Hall of Fame.
For Zerkle, this is her second time to earn Female Student-Athlete of the Year honors, while it is the first time Elmore has received Male Student-Athlete of the Year honors and the first time Dixon has earned Female Student-Athlete of the Year honors.
Elmore is a 6-foot-3 guard who led Conference USA in points (19.7) and assists (5.9). He became the second Marshall player to earn a spot on the league’s first team (James Kelly in 2016), the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ first team and helped lead the Herd to a spot in the league tournament championship game.
Elmore earned C-USA Player of the Week honors for the week of Dec. 12, while his 691 points were sixth in school history for an individual season. He became the third player in Marshall history to reach 200 assists in a single season (Mike D’Antoni in 1971-72 and 1972-73 and Cornelius Jackson in 1990-00).
Zerkle began her senior season selected as a member of the USA Women’s National Team. The reigning Miss Marshall then dominated for the Herd. The Milton, W.Va., native helped lead Marshall to a program record 42 wins and the C-USA regular season title. Zerkle finished her career as the Herd’s all-time leader in average (.451), stolen bases (162) and triples (14). She racked up numerous awards along the way highlighted by C-USA Player of the Year, NFCA Mideast All-Region First Team and NFCA All-America Second Team. Zerkle was a finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, a first team Senior CLASS Award All-America and drafted by the Scrap Yard Dawgs of the National Pro Fastpitch League.
Dixon became one of the best pitchers in the country during her senior campaign. The Edmond, Okla., native finished the season third in the country with 32 wins and ninth with 294 strikeouts. The senior ace ended her four seasons becoming the first Marshall pitcher to earn 100 wins (108), record 1,000 strikeouts (1,115) and pitch 1,000 innings (1,074.2). She tossed two no-hitters including a 2-0 win over WKU in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Tournament. Dixon is fifth in NCAA history with 203 appearances and is just the 58th pitcher ever to reach both 100 wins and 1,000 strikeouts. It was just the second no-hitter in the history of the conference tournament. Dixon capped off the year as the C-USA Pitcher of the Year, NFCA Mideast All-Region First Team and NFCA All-America Third Team.