It was a banner night for the University of Calgary’s dominant team at the 47th annual Night of the Dino held Tuesday evening at the Olympic Oval.
For the third time in five years, a Dino football player was named winner of the Dennis Kadatz Male Athlete of the Year, another football player was a Finalist for Athlete of the Year thereby receiving the University of Calgary Athletic Award of Merit, another football player was the recipient of the Calgary Booster Club Scholar Athlete of the Year and Senate Award, Head Coach Blake Nill was recognized as the University of Calgary Coach of the Year, and a member of the outstanding freshman class was a finalist for the Bill Popplewell Rookie of the Year.
Timmis, a second year Haskyane School of Business student was the Canada West MVP in 2013 after running through opposing defences for 1,157 yards this season to lead the nation. Throughout the season, he found the end zone 19 times, 18 of which were rushing touchdowns – both new Canada West records. No other player in the CIS recorded more than 12 majors on the season. With 114 points, he became the first non-kicker to lead the conference in scoring since UBC's Chris Ciezki in 2006 and tied teammate Johnny Mark and former Manitoba kicker Jamie Boreham for the conference single-season scoring record. Timmis averaged 6.9 yards per carry and 144.6 yards per game along the ground. He led the nation in total rushing yards, rushing yards per game, and touchdowns and was second in total carries with 167. Most importantly, he helped the Dinos win a sixth-straight conference title and lead them to the 2013 Vanier Cup after defeating the Western Mustangs 44-3 to win the Mitchell Bowl. Timmis was MVP of both the Hardy Cup and the Mitchell Bowl.
Doctor Cassama was a Finalist for the Male Athlete of the Year. Cassama became the seventh Dino to capture the defensive MVP in the conference this season when he moved from defensive back to linebacker. The Kristianstad, Sweden native led the Dinos with 36 tackles, 30 solo and 12 assisted, averaging 4.5 per game. Cassama played a key role in Calgary’s 3-4 defensive scheme and helped lead them to the Vanier Cup championship game. Doc also received the Gauntlet extra effort award.
Quarterback Andrew Buckley captured a pair of awards. The third year Kinesiology student from Rundle College was named winner of the Calgary Booster Club Male Scholar Athlete of the Year Award as well as the Senate Service Award. The Senate Service Award annually recognizes a student-athlete who shows strong community engagement by demonstrating direct community involvement, representing the University of Calgary Senate’s vision of “Students engaging community.”
Buckley boasts an impressive resume of community involvement, as well as successful athletic and academic performance that earned him the award as the third recipient. He was named the winner of the prestigious Russ Jackson Award at the end of the football season and has earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All America Team.
In 2011, the quarterback joined a group that travelled to Guatemala to build 500 efficient wood-burning stoves for impoverished families with the Hearts and Hands Foundation. The following year, he led the organization of a Dinos football camp for underprivileged and foster children of Sudanese decent in the Calgary area. He also remains actively involved volunteering for various senior citizens' organizations, and is a home care volunteer with Alberta Health Services, working with two Alzheimer's patients for 90 minutes per week.
On the field, the graduate of Calgary's Rundle College took over as the team's starting quarterback late in the season opener after standout Eric Dzwilewski broke his foot and the Dinos barely skipped a beat with Buckley at the controls, cruising to their first-ever 8-0 record. The 6-foot, 193-pound pivot went on to pass for 2,184 yards and 12 touchdowns in eight contests and also added four rushing majors en route to a selection as a conference all-star.
In the classroom, Buckley is a two-time Academic All-Canadian with a career grade point average of 3.93 in kinesiology and has plans to follow in his father's footsteps and enter medical school following his undergraduate work. He has received numerous academic awards since he arrived on the U of C campus, including a University of Calgary President's Admission Scholarship and Undergraduate Merit Award. He is actively involved in many research projects, most recently making a presentation as part of the Faculty of Kinesiology's Markin Undergraduate Student Research Program in October 2013 – right in the middle of football season.
Football Head Coach Blake Nill became the second winner of the Charlesglen Toyota Scion Coach of the Year, an award introduced last season to honour a coach that demonstrates excellence in coaching and leadership.
Nill was named Canada West Coach of the Year for the third time in his career with the Dinos this past season, and guided them to the Vanier Cup after defeating the Western Mustangs in the Mitchell Bowl. The Dinos had the top offence in the conference at nearly 550 yards and 42.4 points per game and they finished with an 8-0 record for the first time in history. Eleven of Nill’s players earned conference all-star status and the Dinos brought home four of the five major player awards.
Receiver Rashaun Simonise was a finalist for the Bill Popplewell Award as Male Rookie of the Year. The graduate of Vancouver College was named Conference Rookie of the Year. The first year Arts student was a solid wide receiver and specialty team player through the 2013 season. Rashaun started every game recording 33 receptions for 481 yards.