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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 5

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Page 36 of 92

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED OLUME 26, ISSUE 5 37 Celebrates Student-Athletes Meet You At Arni's TM Gregory Phillips Junior, Sales and Sales Management Phillips, a junior receiver from Lithonia, Ga., was one of 19 football players to earn Fall Academic All-Big Ten honors. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners in at least their second year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0. Women's cross country and soccer had 14 honorees, second only to football. Men's cross country had 13 members recognized and volleyball eight. Volleyball's total marked half of the roster. Women's cross country sophomores Kendall Hacker and Reagan Lear were recognized for having perfect 4.0 GPAs. They were two of merely 21 individuals across the seven fall Big Ten sports honored for perfect marks in the classroom for any conference school. TUNE IN TO KEEP UP Gold and Black Radio offense, finding a comfort level with new co-workers and missing a fami- ly. So Malone regularly asked Thom- as for updates on the transition, showed concern for Thomas' wife's plight — she had to make a 1,500- mile move with the boys on her own — and checked in to see if it was going smoothly. Even after Thomas' family arrived and, ultimately, was expanded with the birth of a daugh- ter during Thomas' time in New Or- leans — the Malones got the baby a pink giraffe that she still sleeps with — Malone kept up with changes, al- ways wanting to stay informed. As a four-star high school re- cruit and a Rose Bowl champion with Texas before being drafted by the Patriots, Thomas had plenty of coaches rising up to the pro ranks. But none were quite like Malone. "Terry is one of the most genu- ine coaches I ever played for," said Thomas, who's retired from the NFL and now works for the Longhorn Network. "He really is passionate about his players, both on and off the field. … He just went above and beyond, more than anything. The reality is at that (NFL) level if everything is going well at home, everything is going to be better at work. So I think there's always the concern (from coaches), but he went above and beyond and made sure he always interacted with my family after the games and always asked about them and made sure everything was OK." Though Malone described the NFL dynamic as more of a "partner-

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