Chad Pennington and Korey Coon Named Top Student-Athletes on 1999-2000 GTE Academic All-America Teams

STAMFORD, Conn. - Marshall University quarterback Chad Pennington, a 1999 Heisman Trophy finalist, and Illinois Wesleyan basketball star Korey Coon have been chosen the Team Members of the Year for the 1999-2000 GTE Academic All-America® Teams.

Beginning this fall, the GTE program will be known as the Verizon Academic All-America program as a result of the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic to create Verizon Communications.

The selections for the highest honors for all sports were announced today after voting by a committee of the College Sports Information Directors of America. Pennington, a draft choice of the New York Jets, is the recipient in the University Division (Division I) and Coon is the winner in the College Division (Divisions II and III).

Pennington, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., was a two-time GTE Academic All-America team member who graduated with a 3.80 grade point average (GPA) as a broadcast journalism major. He was the New York Jets' first round selection (18th overall) and the first quarterback chosen in the 2000 NFL draft. In his senior season at Marshall, he led the Thundering Herd to a 13-0 record and a victory in the Motor City Bowl, finishing the season with 275 completions in 405 attempts (68 percent) for 3,799 yards and 37 touchdowns.

Coon averaged 22 points per game last season and was a first team All-America, winning the 2000 Jostens Trophy, given to the outstanding student-athlete in Division III basketball. He was a three-time, first team all-Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin player and helped the Titans win the 1997 Division III national championship. A native of East Peoria, Ill., Coon had straight A's throughout his college career and graduated with a perfect 4.00 GPA with a dual major in risk management and history.

To be eligible for the GTE Academic All-America® Team, an athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.20 on a scale of 4.00. During the 1999-2000 academic year, a GTE Academic All-America Team Member of the Year was named in each of 10 programs (football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's and women's fall at-large and men's and women's spring at-large) in the University and College Divisions. Pennington and Coon were chosen from among these 20 finalists.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 95 million access lines and 25 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.

Year Name School Sport
1987-88 Michael Smith Brigham Young Basketball
1988-89 James Martin Penn State Wrestling
1989-90 Alec Kessler Georgia Basketball
1990-91 Al Parker Georgia Tennis
1991-92 Tommy Vardell Stanford Football
1992-93 Jim Hansen Colorado Football
1993-94 Carl Erikson Oberlin Tennis
1994-95 Rebecca Lobo Connecticut Basketball
(tie) Rob Zatechka Nebraska Football
1995-96* Todd Fuller North Carolina State Basketball
  Chris Palmer Saint John's (Minn.) Football
1996-97 Danny Wuerffel Florida Football
  Julie Roe Millikin Basketball
1997-98 Peyton Manning Tennessee Football
  Brad Gray MIT Football
1998-99 Matt Stinchcomb Georgia Football
  Kelly Schade Simpson Softball

* First year of present format, which honors one winner in each (College and University) Division.

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