The Associated Press has named Baylor’s Dave Aranda the Big 12 Coach of the Year. They also named Baylor’s senior safety Jalen Pitre the defensive player of the year.
The awards were released Thursday, as determined by the vote of a panel of 20 sports writers and sportscasters who regularly cover the league.
Aranda got 15 of the 20 votes for coach of the year. Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, whose team lost to Baylor in the Big 12 championship game, got the other five.
Pitre, a first-team safety for the second year in a row, has 17 ½ tackles for loss and was the only player in the nation during the regular season with at least three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions. Pitre got 12 of 20 votes for top defensive player while Oklahoma State linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, with a league-high 119 tackles overall, got five votes.
Iowa State running back Breece Hall received The Associated Press Big 12 offensive player of the year honor for the second year in a row.
Hall is the Big 12 rushing leader with 1,464 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, and has an active FBS record of 24 consecutive games with a rushing touchdown. The junior, who got 16 of the 20 votes for top offensive player, has 3,941 career rushing yards.
Texas freshman receiver Xavier Worthy, who had 62 catches and leads the Big 12 with 981 yards and 12 TDs receiving, was voted newcomer of the year. He is also a first-team All-Big 12 pick at receiver.