the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kevin Stemke Wins 2000 Ray Guy Award

"Kevin Stemke didn't have the nation's best punting average. Nor did he have the best percentage of punts that were downed inside the 20-yard line. But Mr. Stemke, a four-year letterman during his career at the University of Wisconsin, was among the best in several different categories. And that earned the left-footed punter the inaugural Ray Guy Award as the top punter Thursday night in a ceremony in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The award, presented by the Greater Augusta Sports Council, was determined by a vote of more than 350 coaches, sports information directors and college football writers. 'I'm really honored,' Mr. Stemke said. 'We as punters are asked to do a lot, and so are the guys who get down and cover our punts.' Mr. Stemke averaged 45.11 yards per punt this year on 61 attempts, good for third best in the nation. He beat out sophomore Preston Gruening of Minnesota, who led in average with 45.22 yards per punt, and senior Nick Harris of California for the award. The Ray Guy Award, which is in its first year, honors the Thomson native who was selected in the first round of the 1973 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. Mr. Guy, who was a part of three Super Bowl championships, is widely considered one of the best punters in the history of the game. The award was intended not to reward the best average but to take into consideration other criteria, such as net average, number of punts inside the 20-yard line, percentage of punts inside the 20-yard line, average return and percentage of punts not returned. 'I think he's a fantastic kicker to meet the criteria we set for them,' Mr. Guy said from Lake Buena Vista. 'I wish they could all win. They do their job for the betterment of the team. They're very unselfish players. It was a tough decision, and I'm glad I wasn't on the voting (panel)'." - Augusta Chronicle

"Prior to Thursday's Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards, Wisconsin punter Kevin Stemke quietly surveyed the trophy table, his jaws dropping at the names of those of those who had won in the past. Guys like Dorsett. Maxwell. Thorpe. Little did Stemke know that about an hour later, he's be the winner of one of those trophies, the inaugural Ray Guy Award given to the nation's best punter. 'Don't get me wrong, the punter is still the punter, but I'm just so honored to be a part of this. I really can't believe it,' Stemke said, his cheeks bright red and his eyes watery, not out of sadness, but excitement. 'To be the guy they voted on is a feeling I can't put into words. Just a little while ago I was walking by those awards in total awe. Now I'm a part of it'." - ESPN

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