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Archive for December, 2016

Services set for analyst

Memorial services for Tamra S. “Tami” (Chamberlin) Komisarek will take place Friday and Saturday.

Komisarek

Komisarek

The Whitehouse resident, who was an analyst in the Budget Office, died Dec. 26 at age 34. She joined the UT staff in 2009.

She is survived by her husband, Justin Komisarek, an electrician at the University.

Visitation hours will be held Friday, Dec. 30, from 2 to 8 p.m. at Coyle Funeral Home, 1770 S. Reynolds Road, Toledo.

The funeral will be Saturday, Dec. 31, at 9:30 a.m. at Coyle Funeral Home. A mass will follow at 10 a.m. at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Parish, 5856 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo, with interment at Resurrection Cemetery, 5725 Hill Ave., Toledo.

Sign the guest registry here.

UT astronomer selected as member of elite NASA group focused on cosmic origins

A University of Toledo astronomer who specializes in the formation of stars and planets has been named to a 12-member NASA advisory group.

Dr. Tom Megeath, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was selected to serve a three-year term as a member of the Executive Committee for NASA’s Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group.

Dr. Tom Megeath, shown here with the APEX telescope at an altitude of 16,750 feet on the Llano de Chajnantor in the Atacama Desert in Chile, has been selected to serve a three-year term as a member of the Executive Committee for NASA’s Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group.

Dr. Tom Megeath, shown here with the APEX telescope at an altitude of 16,750 feet on the Llano de Chajnantor in the Atacama Desert in Chile, has been selected to serve a three-year term as a member of the Executive Committee for NASA’s Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group.

“His appointment is yet another national recognition of the astrophysics expertise at UT,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy and Helen Luedtke Brooks Endowed Professor of Astronomy. “This means that he and UT will have significant input on the science and technology priority decisions for NASA’s future directions.”

Megeath was the primary investigator for the Herschel Orion Protostar Survey, one of 21 competitively awarded Key Programs on the European Space Agency’s Herschel far-infrared space-based telescope. Megeath’s program studied the creation of stars by combining data from Herschel and several other space telescopes.  

He has used the Herschel, Spitzer and Hubble Space telescopes throughout his career. He also observed Orion from a flight from Canada to the Pacific Ocean on a NASA airplane called the SOFIA.

“When it comes to allocating resources, NASA needs guidance from the astronomers who use its huge range of instruments to collect data,” Megeath said. “The work I do with the advisory group will influence and contribute to NASA missions 10, 20 years from now. This is a huge opportunity for us here at UT.”

Megeath’s term on the NASA executive committee began in November and ends in November 2019.

Other members are from Arizona State University, California Institute of Technology, University of Maryland, NASA’s Goddard Flight Space Center, Johns Hopkins University, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ball Aerospace, NASA’s Ames Research Center, Saint Michael College, University of Minnesota and University of Washington.

In a letter to Megeath, Mario Perez, executive secretary of the committee and scientist in the Cosmic Origins Program, wrote, “Over the rest of the decade the [Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group] will play an important role in the future of NASA’s investment in cosmic origins science.”

Megeath is the first UT faculty member to serve on this advisory group.

“Cosmic origins covers everything from the Big Bang to the origin of our world and others,” Megeath said. “The goal is to understand the entire sequence of events that led to us.”

Dr. JD Smith, UT associate professor of astronomy, is the chair of the NASA Far Infrared Science Interest Group.

Dr. Adolf Witt, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, served on the NASA Universe Working Group from 2005 to 2008.

Alumna’s gift makes holiday bright for one UT student

Daniela Somaroo hopped in her car Dec. 18 in Detroit and drove down I-75 to visit friends in Toledo — and to make one special delivery.

First stop for the UT alumna: the home of Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost for international studies and programs.

Dr. Sammy Spann and Daniela Somaroo smiled for the camera.

Dr. Sammy Spann and Daniela Somaroo smiled for the camera.

She handed Spann a check for $4,000, a donation to the Center for International Studies and Programs.

“He immediately rejected it, which I expected was going to happen,” Somaroo recalled. “And I said, ‘No, this is something that I really need to do, and I’m not going to take it back because this could help somebody else.’”

“This was an unexpected blessing,” Spann said of the generous donation. “This will be used to help a young lady from Haiti who was getting ready to go home due to lack of funds. Now she can take classes next semester.”

Two years ago, Somaroo was that young lady lacking funds for school.

“During my last semester, the government body that administers currency exchange in my country wasn’t approving the release of dollars for me to be able to pay for school anymore,” the native of Caracas, Venezuela, said. “And, of course, if you don’t pay your last semester, you don’t get your diploma. That was my concern: If I didn’t have my diploma, I wouldn’t be able to submit my paperwork for a work visa.”

Somaroo was at the Center for International Studies and Programs and happened to see Spann.

“Like the awesome person Sammy is, he asked, ‘Hey, how are you doing? Were you able to pay for your semester?’ I wasn’t going to lie to him, and I told him I was still about $4,000 short, and I was graduating in four days,” Somaroo said. “I can walk in the ceremony, but I wouldn’t receive my diploma.

“So he talked to Cheryl Thomas, executive assistant in the Center for International Studies and Programs, who is also a great person, and he said, ‘Hey Cheryl, can you find $4,000 for Daniela’s account?’ And then he said, ‘Congratulations, you’ve graduated.’ That was just a shocker. Things like that don’t happen all the time. It was a life saver. I am forever indebted to him.”

It was December 2014, and Somaroo received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. Then she landed a job as a service engineer at Honeywell International Inc. and moved to Merrillville, Ind. For the past couple months, she’s been filling in at the company’s Detroit office.

“Sammy didn’t say it was a loan,” she said. “But I made myself a promise once he gave me that money to pay for the semester; I told myself I had to pay it back somehow someday. It took me two years, but I made it.”

Spann was moved to tears by the gift and posted about it on his Facebook page.

Comments poured in: “So awesome people like her still exist. Wow!” “She truly has a heart of gold.” “Thank you so much for showing love to our students.” “What an inspiration. I can’t wait to give back to the Center for International Studies and Programs!” “It is so amazing to see Rockets helping Rockets!” “Thank you for reaching back and investing in others!”

Somaroo was surprised by the post — and the comments.

“It was just extremely overwhelming. I didn’t expect anything. Sammy’s thank-you and knowing where that money is going to were more than enough, and I told him that,” she said. “The amount of comments and love I’ve received from that post — my heart is full.”

Tax-deductible gifts to benefit UT students and programs can be made at https://give2ut.utoledo.edu or by calling 419.530.7730.

Women & Philanthropy marks 10 years of leadership

Although volunteerism by women has long played a part in nonprofit organizations, a focus on the role of women in charitable giving is a relatively newer phenomenon.

In 2001, no university-based women’s philanthropy programs existed in the Toledo region. At that time, Dr. Janet Krzyminski, a UT alumna, was a director of development at The University of Toledo and working on her dissertation. Her research focused on local women’s viewpoints regarding the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities of philanthropy.

women-philanthropy-logo“The overarching result was that charitable organizations and universities were not paying much attention to women donors as a group. We weren’t recognizing their interest or potential,” she said. “This provided a platform and eventually gave legs to a new organization centered at UT.”

UT’s Women & Philanthropy, a collaborative effort of area women and the University’s Division of Advancement, is marking its 10th year as a community of female philanthropists supporting the mission and goals of The University of Toledo.

Outgoing president Marianne Ballas, who has led the group since its inception, said the goal has been to raise the awareness of women in the community and to guide and support them in the art of giving back.

“We are committed to exposing our members to the University by promoting Women & Philanthropy’s first grant in 2008 that provided the glass sculpture, ‘A University Woman,’ by Tom McGlauchlin. The group has provided 15 grants totaling nearly $400,000 for educational programs and taken part in grant dedications,” she said. “It is inspiring to visit and experience the amazing facilities and programs that are offered right here in Toledo. We are so proud of UT, and we want to share it to enhance the community appreciation of UT’s incredible importance and contributions.”

The 2016 Women & Philanthropy grants were awarded to the Instrumentation Center for the construction of an interactive display titled “Living Science: The Ever-Changing Periodic Table,” and an active learning center in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The group also participates in a holiday project, including purchasing hats and mittens for at-risk children, refilling items for the UT student food bank, and distributing stuffed animals for children at UT Medical Center through the Satellites Auxiliary.

Ballas noted that members have not only made financial investments, but also personal investments. “What we have done as a group of women has created and nurtured some deep lifelong friendships. Although we are a very diverse group, we really like and appreciate each other,” she said, “and we enjoy giving back.”

To learn more about Women & Philanthropy, contact Chris Spengler, director of advancement relations, at chris.spengler@utoledo.edu or 419.530.4927.

VP/chief information officer on cover of technology magazine

Bill McCreary’s unorthodox road to the top information and technology post at The University of Toledo and his leadership on campus spanning from administrative support to virtual reality is featured on the front page of Toggle Magazine.

Toggle is a quarterly journal for technology executives highlighting the vital role that technology plays in companies and organizations.

toggleThe story about McCreary, who oversees all information technology, hospital systems and academic technology needs at UT as vice president and chief information and technology officer, is titled “Bringing Private Sector IT Expertise to the Academic Realm.”

Before arriving at UT in 2012 to pursue a PhD in artificial intelligence related to simulation and game design, McCreary retired from a 45-year career in the private sector.

“I came here as a student, not a c-level executive,” McCreary told Toggle. “The retirement plan was to do my PhD work, but after I was here about a year, the University discovered me and asked me to get involved.”

McCreary came out of retirement to work as chief technology officer, and in 2015 he absorbed the responsibilities of chief information officer to fill a vacancy.

McCreary told the magazine that his typical work day at UT leading a team of more than 300 people includes anything from product pricing and network router changes to game development, augmented reality and the management of cadaveric specimens.

The magazine touts the consolidation of all of those tasks under one manager as a way to maximize the institution’s overall IT efficiency.

Efforts to commercialize the classroom were a major focus of the feature story as McCreary oversees the Center for Creative Instruction, the Advanced Simulation and Gaming Studio, and the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.

According to the magazine, the merger of the groups enables the Division of Technology and Advanced Solution “to build leading edge interactive simulations and gamified products that deploy on the web, 3D/VIR and head mounted displays using augmented as well as virtual reality.”

Toggle shines the spotlight on the revenue-generating possibilities of UT’s products and services that pursue academic goals, such as business, sales and medical training software like the Manufacturing Simulation Game, a first-person, video game-like perspective to help train workers in a manufacturing plant, or the Salesworld family of games that allow students to gain simulated sales leadership experience.

“It’s configurable so you can grow different types of sales people with different personality traits,” McCreary told Toggle. “Students play six games throughout their academic careers and then when they graduate they’ll have a resumé that complements their internships in the real world by launching them into tough situations that would take years to experience.”

McCreary told Toggle, “I have not found anybody who has a job quite like this at the university level.”

Click here to read the full story in Toggle Magazine.

Division focused on advanced simulation technology for enriched learning

A strategic merger of key technology units at The University of Toledo is driving developments in advanced clinical and academic simulations for enriched learning for students across campus.

The Division of Technology and Advanced Solutions is comprised of the Department of Information Technology, the Center for Creative Instruction, the Advanced Simulation and Gaming Studio, and the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.

Christa Goodson, who is majoring in information technology, tested the Salesworld Leadership simulation game developed by UT’s Advanced Simulation and Gaming Studio and the Center for Creative Instruction.

Christa Goodson, who is majoring in information technology, tested the Salesworld Leadership simulation game developed by UT’s Advanced Simulation and Gaming Studio and the Center for Creative Instruction.

The synergy achieved by joining these groups positions the University as a leader in technological capability, according to Bill McCreary, UT vice president and chief information and technology officer, who created the division in 2015.

“This combined team of web developers, animators, 3D modelers, software engineers, game designers and various information technology professionals is building innovative new content for enhancing the educational experience across the University,” he said. “We are developing new interactive digital content to engage students and provide a unique learning experience to help them achieve success in their fields of study.”

The division is developing software for UT’s Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales. Students have been testing the software this fall.

“Students have been practicing real-life scenarios in a sales management simulation,” said Dr. Ellen Pullins, Schmidt research professor of sales and sales management. “This program should really challenge students’ critical thinking skills and will ensure they are even better prepared when they start their careers.”

It is McCreary’s goal to continue to expand content to each college on campus and to meet the students where they are.

“Students shouldn’t have to come to a single location like the simulation center for this type of training,” he said. “It has to be for everybody, and it has to be portable. We are building this content for students to use the software on computers and headsets in their classroom at any campus location.”

The new technology could lead to a revenue source for the University, McCreary said. The division already has begun fostering partnerships to create and develop advanced digital content for local businesses and the national education market, and has created a virtual anatomy and physiology program for publisher McGraw-Hill.

The division has oversight of nearly every piece of computing technology on campus. The team of about 300 people, half of which are UT students, provides a variety of services for students, faculty, clinical professionals and staff.

“This unique collaboration also allows our staff within the Division of Technology and Advanced Solutions to explore different areas of technology and provides career-development opportunities,” McCreary said.

Electrical engineering student lights up holidays

It’s a cool Yule outside iHeart’s WRVF station in downtown Toledo as more than 3,000 lights in the shape of a Christmas tree pulsate in time to 101.5 the River’s holiday music.

Last February, Alec Connolly was given the task of brightening up and adding joy to the sonic world this Christmas season. The UT junior majoring in electrical engineering is completing his co-op with iHeartMedia.

Alec Connolly, a UT junior majoring in electrical engineering who is working a co-op at iHeartMedia, posed for a photo by the lights that he synced for 101.5's Christmas on the River.

Alec Connolly, a UT junior majoring in electrical engineering who is working a co-op at iHeartMedia, posed for a photo by the lights that he synced for 101.5’s Christmas on the River.

“My boss, Gary Fullhart [market director of engineering and information technology at iHeartMedia] came up with the idea, and we brainstormed and put the project together,” Connolly said. “He went up to Bronner’s in Frankenmuth, Mich., and he put this big bag of Christmas lights on my desk, and that’s when I knew it was actually going to happen.”

With a twinkle in his eye, Connolly began researching the project. By April, the UT engineering student had three units built for stations in Toledo, Lima and Napoleon.

“Most of the Christmas displays that you see are programmed to prerecorded songs; they pick 10 or 15 songs, and they program each individual light,” Connolly explained. “What we wanted to do is program it in real time. I can’t program every single light because on the radio, it’s random Christmas songs that play, so I wanted to do it in real time.”

Add a Raspberry Pi — a computer about the size of a credit card — running the free software LightShow Pi and it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

“The Raspberry Pi actually listens to the audio and converts it to the lights, which is what you see on the tree,” Connolly said. “Playing along to the music, the tree looks absolutely fantastic.”

“This is an interesting work that Alec has done,” Dr. Mansoor Alam, professor and chair of electrical engineering and computer science, said. “This shows that electrical engineering is not just hard work, but is also fun.”

“I visited Alec’s employer, iHeart Media, and talked to him about this project earlier this year,” Karen J. Gauthier, associate co-op director for electrical and computer science engineering, said. “His enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mile to complete a project was evident.”

Synchronizing holiday songs and the lights proved inspirational for Connolly: “I’m planning to get the materials and make a unit again so that my house next year will have a display set up that’s synced to the River as well.”

The Sylvania resident wrote about the project for Radio World; read his article here.

And see the project in action in this video. Or dash down by the station at 125 S. Superior St.

“Folks can park by the Spaghetti Warehouse and sit in their cars and listen to Christmas on the River and watch,” Connolly said.

Rockets fall to Appalachian State, 31-28, in Camellia Bowl

Senior Kareem Hunt rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns to become Toledo’s all-time leading rusher, but it wasn’t enough as Toledo fell to Appalachian State, 31-28, Saturday night in the 2016 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala.

App State scored on a 39-yard field goal with 5:14 left in the fourth quarter to give the Mountaineers a 31-28 lead. Toledo had a chance to tie the score, but Jameson Vest’s 30-yard field goal attempt with 1:48 left was wide right.

Senior Kareem Hunt led the rushing attack with 120 yards, giving him 4,945 career rushing yards, which breaks the all-time record at Toledo previously held by Chester Taylor.

Senior Kareem Hunt led the rushing attack with 120 yards, giving him 4,945 career rushing yards, which breaks the all-time record at Toledo previously held by Chester Taylor.

Hunt led the rushing attack with 120 yards, giving him 4,945 career rushing yards, which breaks the all-time record at Toledo previously held by Chester Taylor (4,849 from 1998 to 2001). It was also the 28th 100-yard game in his career, breaking the school mark of 27 held by Taylor.

Senior Logan Woodside connected on 18 of 26 passes and added to his nation-leading total by throwing two touchdown passes. He leads the nation with 45 touchdown passes, four more than the No. 2 QB (Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes with 41).

Senior Logan Woodside threw two touchdown passes. He leads the nation with 45 TD passes.

Senior Logan Woodside threw two touchdown passes. He leads the nation with 45 TD passes.

Junior Cody Thompson led the team with 99 yards on five receptions, giving him 1,269 on the season and surpassing the Toledo record of 1,194 set by Lance Moore in 2003.

The contest was a close battle throughout the night with neither team leading by more than seven points. The score was tied at 7, 14, 21 and 28.

The Mountaineers struck first, moving 72 yards on 10 plays in their first drive for the touchdown, a 16-yard pass from Taylor Lamb to Deltron Hopkins.

Tight end Michael Roberts celebrated after a 15-yard touchdown catch that made it 7-7 in the first quarter.

Tight end Michael Roberts celebrated after a 15-yard touchdown catch that made it 7-7 in the first quarter.

Toledo tied the score, 7-7, on a 15-yard scoring strike from Woodside to tight end Michael Roberts. The big play on that drive was a 58-yard bomb from Woodside to Corey Jones that set UT up at the App State 17-yard line.

The teams traded three punts each before App State scored on a 13-yard run by Marcus Cox to give the Mountaineers a 14-7 lead with 6:03 to play in the second quarter.

Toledo struck back when Hunt bolted 26 yards into the end zone to tie the score at 14-14.

App State regained the lead on a 13-yard touchdown run by quarterback Lamb on a fourth-and-one play with 8:04 to play in the third quarter.

Senior DeJuan Rogers took down a Mountaineer.

Senior DeJuan Rogers took down a Mountaineer.

Later in the quarter, Toledo tied the score once again, 21-21, on a four-yard touchdown pass from Woodside to Thompson.

However, the Mountaineers wasted no time when Darrynton Evans returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.

Toledo evened the score at 28-28 with a one-yard run by Hunt. The drive was set up by Woodside’s 58-yard pass to Thompson across the middle of the field to the four-yard line.

App State had a chance to take the lead with a 38-yard field goal attempt, but the Mountaineers attempted a fake. The pass attempt fell incomplete giving the Rockets the ball on their own 21-yard line. The Mountaineers took advantage at a later opportunity and regained the lead with a 39-yard field goal by Michael Rubino.

Toledo had a chance to win or tie on its final possession. Jones got the Rockets in good field position with a 31-yard kickoff return to the UT 43-yard line. Toledo moved the ball to the ASU eight-yard line, but the drive stalled, setting up Vest’s missed field goal attempt.

Toledo to play No. 2 Notre Dame Dec. 18 at home

Toledo (8-1) will look to continue its winning ways when it entertains No. 2 Notre Dame (9-1) Sunday, Dec. 18. Tip-off time is set for 2 p.m. in Savage Arena, and the game will be streamed live on ESPN3.

The Rockets are off to their best start since tallying 12 victories in their opening 13 contests in 2012-13.

Sophomore Mikaela Boyd and the Rockets are 4-0 at home this season.

Sophomore Mikaela Boyd and the Rockets are 4-0 at home this season.

UT will be greatly challenged by the Fighting Irish, who will be the highest ranked opponent to ever visit Savage Arena. The previous highest-ranked team was No. 5 Duke, and Toledo defeated the Blue Devils, 71-65, Nov. 18, 2001.

The Rockets have been nearly unbeatable in Savage Arena over the last eight-plus years and compiled a 104-28 (.787) ledger, including a perfect 4-0 mark this season. The Midnight Blue and Gold has outscored the opposition by a whopping 29.8 points per game (79.2-49.5) in its home contests this year. 

Toledo, which is No. 21 in this week’s collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll, is coming off a 74-50 victory over 2016 NCAA Tournament participant St. Bonaventure last Sunday before 3,143 fans at home.

UT’s pressure defense produced 15 steals and forced the Bonnies (4-6) into committing 29 turnovers, which the Rockets translated into a season-high 33 points to help secure its fourth win against Atlantic-10 opponents this year. Toledo also has victories against Rhode Island, Davidson and most recently Dayton in 2016-17.

Offensively, freshman Mariella Santucci led a balanced Toledo attack with a game-high 13 points and a contest-best four helpers, followed closely by junior Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott with 12 and senior Sophie Reecher with a season-high 10 off the bench.

The Rockets also received nine points from sophomore Mikaela Boyd and eight by sophomore Kaayla McIntyre to stretch their winning streak to four consecutive games.

In total, 11 of the 12 Rockets scored in the 24-point triumph and every player logged double-digit playing minutes.

UT dominated most categories in the final stat sheet and posted a 42-26 edge in points in the paint, 33-4 advantage in points off turnovers, 17-7 edge in second-chance points, 8-0 advantage in fast-break points, and 33-14 edge in bench points. The Rockets also totaled 14 assists and only 10 turnovers, signifying the fourth-straight contest and sixth overall time this year they have posted more helpers than miscues.

Toledo is fueled offensively by the quartet by Bravo-Harriott, Boyd, senior Janice Monakana and Santucci, who are averaging 13.4, 11.7, 10.1 and 9.8 points per game, respectively.

Notre Dame enters Sunday’s matchup on the heels of a 75-61 road victory at No. 16 DePaul Dec. 10. Arike Ogunbowale paced the Fighting Irish with 17 points, followed closely by Brianna Turner and Lindsay Allen with 14 each.

The Fighting Irish features an offense with five players averaging at least 9.5 points per game led by Ogunbowale’s 16.6 points per game, followed by Turner’s 13.8 points per game and a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game.

Toledo will face its 24th ranked opponent and second this year since 1995-96. Earlier this season, UT dropped a 75-73 neutral-court decision against No. 9 UCLA in the second round of the Cancun Challenge Nov. 25.

The Rockets have compiled a 3-20 (.130) mark in those contests. UT’s three victories versus ranked opponents came against No. 20 Dayton, 68-65, in 2009 at home, No. 24 Ole Miss, 65-53, in the first round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament in Roanoke, Va., and the No. 5 Blue Devils.

Toledo also has squared off against a nationally ranked Notre Dame squad on three occasions during this time. The Rockets dropped an 82-64 road decision against the No. 6 Fighting Irish (Dec. 2, 1998), suffered a 68-52 home setback vs. No. 7 UND (Nov. 20, 1999), and most recently sustained a 74-39 road loss to No. 3 Notre Dame (Nov. 18, 2015).

Toledo and Notre Dame will meet for the second straight year and eighth time in the overall series. The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series, 4-3, and have won the last three matchups. A season ago, No. 3 UND claimed a 74-39 home triumph Nov. 18, 2015.

The Rockets’ last win in the series occurred Jan. 6, 1990 when they registered a 70-69 home victory.     

Following Sunday’s game, Toledo will wrap up non-conference play when it hosts Detroit Mercy Wednesday, Dec. 21. The opening tip against the Titans is slated for 7 p.m. in Savage Arena and will be streamed live on ESPN3.

UT has two finalists for Football Scoop Coach of the Year awards

University of Toledo Assistant Coaches Brian Wright and Derek Sage are finalists for Football Scoop Coach of the Year awards at their respective positions.

Wright

Wright

Wright, who is in his first season as Toledo’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, is one of seven national finalists for Quarterbacks Coach of the Year.

Sage, in his third season with the Rockets, is one of five finalists for Wide Receivers Coach of the Year.

Winners will be revealed throughout the month and will receive their awards at the American Football Coaches Association Convention in Nashville in January.

Toledo (9-3, 6-2 Mid-American Conference) featured one of the most explosive offenses in the country this season. The Rockets ended the regular season averaging 38.8 points and 529.8 yards per game, the fifth highest total in the nation and the most in school history by almost 30 yards per game. Leading the offense was junior quarterback Logan Woodside, who leads the nation with 43 touchdown passes and destroyed most of Toledo’s single-season passing records. Woodside completed 69.1 percent of his passes for a school-record 3,882 yards. His 43 TD passes shattered the UT record of 29 set by all-time Rocket great Bruce Gradkowski in 2003 and 2005. Woodside earned first-team All-MAC honors and was named a contender for the Heisman Trophy by the Heisman Trophy Trust.

Sage

Sage

The Rockets had three wide receivers who caught at least 38 passes this season, and two who caught 10 touchdown passes. Junior Cody Thompson had 59 receptions for 1,170 yards and 10 TDs, senior Corey Jones had a team high 60 grabs, 745 yards and five scores, and sophomore Jon’Vea Johnson added 38 catches, 751 yards and 10 TDs. Thompson earned first-team All-MAC honors; Johnson made second-team. Thompson and Jones were both on the Biletnikoff Watch List, an award given annually to the nation’s best wide receiver.

Toledo will play Appalachian State Saturday, Dec. 17, in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. The 5:30 p.m. game will be carried by ESPN.