BOONE, N.C.-Director of Athletics Roachel Laney announced on Sunday evening that track and field athlete Matt Stuart (Kingsport, Tenn.) is the recipient of the 2004 Brakefield Academic Award at Appalachian State University's All-Sports Banquet.
Established by the late Jim and Eloise Brakefield, the award recognizes the graduating senior student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average. Stuart holds a 3.86 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale and is set to graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in accounting.
Jim Brakefield came to Appalachian in 1971 as the head football coach and directed the program through the 1979 campaign. During his tenure, his wife, Eloise, passed away. In her honor, an endowment was established to provide scholarship monies to the Yosef Club by the late H.B. Maiden.
Brakefield is noted for overseeom the transition of the gridiron program into the Southern Conference. His most prominent season in Boone came in 1975, when his Mountaineers finished 8-3 and claimed wins over East Carolina, Wake Forest, and South Carolina.
Until his passing in the fall of 2002, Coach Brakefield continued to contribute to this scholarship fund. The scholarship continues through the former student-athletes who played for Coach Brakefield along with the friends of the Brakefield family.