DEARBORN, Mich. – The University of Michigan-Dearborn Department of Athletics & Recreation is proud to announce the winners of the 2019-20 Wolverine Award.
The Wolverine Award is presented annually to one female and one male student-athlete who achieved success in both the classroom and in competition and had to persevere through a difficult situation while continuing to succeed and demonstrating extraordinary spirit.
The winners for 2019-20 as voted on by the All-Sports Banquet Committee are Brooke Spiegel from women's ice hockey and Aaron Stubbs from men's bowling.
Spiegel became the first signing of the new UM-Dearborn women's ice hockey program prior to the start of the 2018-19 academic year. The start of competition for the team was postponed for one year to better prepare the program for a successful first season in 2019-20. Spiegel stuck with the Wolverines and led a small group of recruits during her first year on campus in student-athlete organized practices, laying the foundation for the future.
"When I arrived on campus, I had played hockey every year since I was about four years old," Spiegel said. "So it was really difficult to have that first season postponed. However, I was able to be here from the beginning. I got to see how the team was being built and we started to get some really talented recruits. We built a team and began to bond really well."
Spiegel, who was named a team captain prior to the 2019-20 season, led the Wolverines to a remarkable 19-2-0 overall record, as the team climbed as high as No. 2 in the national rankings in ACHA DII. The season was highlighted by a win over ACHA DI University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, a three-game season sweep of Adrian College, and a road sweep over then No. 2 Liberty University to close the season.
Spiegel played in all 21 games for the Wolverines in year one, finishing with 16 goals and 21 assists. She was also named a 2020 UM-Dearborn Difference Maker and competed for the UM-Dearborn women's golf team in 2019-20.
Stubbs was a second-year member of the young UM-Dearborn men's bowling team in 2019-20. He has been looked to as a leader for the program by his teammates and coaches since joining the Wolverines prior to the team's first season.
Shortly before the Wolverines were set to host the program's first Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Jamboree in October 2019, Stubbs' father passed away. Stubbs said that the entire time was a whirlwind, having bowled a 299 at practice the week prior to his father's passing. The news sidetracked Stubbs's season as more important matters took precedent. After returning to the program, he continued to lead UM-Dearborn as the team continues to build a solid foundation for the future of Wolverine bowling.
"My head really wasn't in it the next time out, but I was able to push through it," Stubbs said. "The toughest time was Pittsburgh (Jan. 25-26, 2020). We bowled really well and I couldn't just pick up the phone and talk to my dad about it. My relationship with my father when it came to bowling was going through this journey together."
Stubbs added that he was able to grow closer to his teammates throughout the season and that eventually, he was able to refocus on the sport he loves while in competition and at practice.
"We are building something good here," Stubbs added. "We have a strong culture and there is a lot more interest in this program."
The Wolverine Award was established in 2016 and is given out annually at the UM-Dearborn All-Sports Banquet. Due to the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, UM-Dearborn was unable to host the event in 2020.