Chattanooga’s Zach Ferrell and Rachel Norris honored as Coleman Lew Leadership Award recipients
Softball's Rachel Norris and men's basketball's Zach Ferrell were each chosen for the Coleman Lew Leadership Award

Southern Conference Release


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.The Southern Conference and Coleman Lew & Associates, Inc. have announced the selection of 21 student-athletes as recipients of the third Annual Coleman Lew Leadership Award, a tally which includes Chattanooga junior men’s basketball player Zach Ferrell and junior softball player Rachel Norris.


The award recognizes scholar-athletes from each of the Southern Conference’s 11 member institutions that have been nominated by coaches, faculty athletic representatives and senior woman administrators based on leadership, academic excellence and athletic achievement in both the college environment and the community. Athletic directors and representatives from Coleman Lew & Associates conducted one-on-one interviews with the finalists before the award recipients were determined.


Zach Ferrell

A three-year member of the Chattanooga men’s basketball team, Ferrell joined the team as a walk-on in 2005-06 and served as one of three team captains for the 2007-08 season.


A management major, Ferrell’s accomplishments off the court are equally impressive as he was awarded the Wright-Bentley Distinguished Student Scholarship in the fall of 2007. A national award made possible by the Wright-Bentley Foundation, the scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate strong academic skills and service to community and university while holding at least junior standing and a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average in pursuit of an undergraduate business degree.


Established in 1994 by industrialist Spencer H. Wright, the program has funded more than 2,000 scholarships through 15 institutions.


Ferrell was named to the 2008 Southern Conference Winter All-Academic team, was awarded the 2008 Men’s Basketball Academic Award and is also a member of the UTC Student-Athlete Advisory Council.


“Zach is a special person as well as athlete,” said Head Men’s Basketball Coach John Shulman. “His leadership role as one of our captains was vital in our team’s success this past season. He is truly deserving of this honor.”


Rachel Norris

A two-year member of the Chattanooga softball team, Norris appeared in 40 games for the Lady Mocs and posted a .987 fielding percentage at first base in 2008.


A Pre K-3 and Special Education major, Norris has excelled off the field, notching a 4.0 GPA in the fall of 2007 and qualified for the Dean’s List that same semester. She also successfully accomplished her student teaching while a member of the softball team a year ago.


Norris has continued to demonstrate her leadership qualities as she has made the difficult decision to forgo her senior year of softball to focus fully on her student teaching and complete her degree.


“Rachel represents what a true team player and student-athlete is” says head softball coach Frank Reed. “Her off-field leadership is just as important as her skill on the field”.


About the Coleman Lew Leadership Award


In addition to receiving a congratulatory plaque recognizing their achievement, the recipients also receive access to Coleman Lew consultants for advice and counseling during their search for post-graduation employment. Additionally, Coleman Lew associates prepare the students’ profiles based on their individual interviews and resumes and provide this information to a list of well respected companies. To these companies, the award winners then represent the pre-screened, highly-qualified group of successful student-athletes graduating from fine educational institutions in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.


Coleman Lew & Associates, Inc., founded in 1979 and headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a nationally retained executive search firm that recruits board members, officers and senior level executives for national and international companies, academic institutions and non-profit organization. The firm also provides customized leadership development services to organizations seeking to maximize corporate performance.


Zach Ferrell is the only Southern Conference men’s basketball player to be named a Coleman Lew & Associates Leadership Award recipient while Rachel Norris is one of two softball players to earn the honor this year.




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