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Dana, Ricky Austin Named HPER's Female, Male Alumni of the Year

8 February 2005 The Jacksonville State University Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation has named Dana and Ricky Austin as its 2005 Outstanding Female and Male Alumni of the Year.

Mrs. Austin is a 1987 Spring Garden High School graduate. She received a bachelor's in physical education at JSU in 1991, a master's in physical education at JSU in 1992, and an educational specialist degree in physical education at JSU in 2004.

Mrs. Austin is now the assistant basketball coach at Spring Garden after serving ten years as the head women's basketball coach at JSU. Recognized as a Young Alumnus of the Year at JSU, Mrs. Austin was named Trans America Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. Her other accomplishments include a Division II All - American award, being named to the Elite Eight at JSU, and achieving a Class 1A state championship at Spring Garden.

Coach Ricky "Rat" Austin graduated from JSU in 1995 with a bachelor's in physical education. He has been coaching and teaching physical education at Spring Garden for the past nine years. Mr. Austin's awards include Elementary Teacher of the Year at Spring Garden, Anniston Star Area Coach of the year, and Alabama Sports Writers' Class 1A State Coach of the Year.

Coach Austin's volleyball coaching accomplishments include: five times as volleyball area champions, three times as volleyball regional champions, and five times as an Elite Eight and a state runner-up. As head basketball coach, Mr. Austin's team earned two county championships, six times as area champions, three times as southeast regional champions, three times in the state final four, state runner-up, and the Class 1A State Championship at Spring Garden.

The Austins are married and have two sons, five-year-old Riley and two-year-old Cooper. They coach together at Spring Garden.

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