Na Koa Football Banquet Honors 2010 WAC Champions

HONOLULU – University of Hawai'i football head coach Greg McMackin announced the 2010 award winners at the annual awards banquet, sponsored by Nâ Koa, Sunday, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel. Quarterback Bryant Moniz was the recipient of the Alec Waterhouse Most Valuable Player Award after leading the Warriors to a 10-win season and share of the Western Athletic Conference championship.

Moniz led the nation in both passing (356.1) and total offense (361.9). He threw for 36 touchdowns and 4,629 yards, the second highest single-season total in school history. He also set the school's single-game passing record, throwing for 560 yards in a win over San Jose State.

The Ben Yee Most Inspirational Player Award went to junior linebacker Corey Paredes, the team's leading tackler (144) and nominee for the WAC's defensive player of the year. Paredes was a key member of a defense which led all FBS teams in turnovers forced with 36, including a nation-leading 23 interceptions.

For the second consecutive year, slot receiver Greg Salas won the Most Outstanding Offensive Player award. Salas, the school's all-time leader in receiving yards with 4,131 yards, also is on the verge of breaking the school's single-season records for receptions and yards.

Lineman Kaniela Tuipulotu received the Most Outstanding Defensive Player award after anchoring a line that did not allow a 100-yard rusher in WAC play. Long snapper Luke Ingram was the Most Outstanding Special Teams Player. In his two seasons as a Warrior, Ingram has not had one bad snap.

The Most Improved Player award went to slot receiver Kealoha Pilares, who along with Salas formed a lethal one-two combination for Moniz. Pilares ranked fifth nationally in yards per game (108.8) and ninth in receptions per game (7.3). His 1,306 yards this season is the fifth highest single-season total in school history while his 15 touchdowns are four shy of the single-season record.

Safety Mana Silva captured the Scholar-Athlete Award for the second straight year. On Saturday, Silva set a new UH career record with his 14th interception.

Warrior Club honors went to running Alex Green and cornerback Jeramy Bryant. Green became the school's first 1,000-yard rusher since 1992 and also broke a 60-year old record for most yards rushing in a game (327) vs. New Mexico State. Bryant was the team's best corner and tallied four interceptions and three fumbles recovered.

The Scout Team Award winner was safety Daryl McBride while the Captain's Award recipients were Salas and defensive lineman Vaughn Meatoga.

In addition, center Bronson Tiwanak was given the Most Unselfish Warrior Award. Tiwanak, a walk-on and school's nominee for The Rudy Award, earned the starting job a week before the season-opener due to an injury to the team's starter and never relinquished the position, starting all 13 games this season.

The Warriors (10-3) finished the regular season with just the sixth 10-win season in school history and captured a share of their fourth WAC title. Hawai'i will next play in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl, where it will face Tulsa, Dec. 24 at Aloha Stadium.

Captain's Award: Greg Salas and Vaughn Meatoga

Warrior Club: Alex Green and Jeramy Bryant

Scout Team Award: Daryl McBride

Scholar-Athlete Award: Mana Silva

Most Improved Player Award: Kealoha Pilares

Most Unselfish Warrior Award: Bronson Tiwanak

Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Greg Salas

Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Kaniela Tuipulotu

Most Outstanding Special Teams Player: Luke Ingram

Ben Yee Most Inspirational Award: Corey Paredes

Alec Waterhouse Most Valuable Player Award: Bryant Moniz