The 2016-2017 season was a big one for UNC athletics, in both personal and team achievements. Now three athletes will be recognized one last time for their contributions this year. Justin Jackson, Ryan Switzer, and Hayley Carter can now add Patterson Medals to their collection of awards and achievements over their careers as Tar Heels.
The Patterson Medal is awarded each year in order to honor historic athletic achievements for players who have attended Chapel Hill for at least three seasons. Their value in sportsmanship and leadership is also considered.
Jackson has the honor of being the 30th men’s basketball player (fourth under Roy Williams) to win the award. He is being honored for a season that saw him achieve first-team All-America and the ACC Player of the Year. He also helped the Tar Heels win the National Championship this past season. He was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers before being traded to the Sacramento Kings.
Switzer finished out his senior season by setting multiple school records with 244 receptions, 2,907 receiving yards, seven punt returns for touchdowns, and 1,082 punt return yards. He also set a single-season record in 2016 with 96 catches. He earned multiple first-team All-America and first-team All-ACC honors on his way to becoming the 35th football player to win the award (third under Larry Fedora). He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Carter won the award by shattering records, including the most singles matches won in ACC history with 168. She was a seven-time ITA All-America winner, two-time ACC Player of the Year, two-time ACC Championship MVP, four-time first-team All-ACC, and the 2017 ITA Senior Player of the Year. She leaves campus as a doubles champion and is the second women’s tennis player to win the award under head coach Brian Kalbas.
It’s pretty clear that UNC is at the top of its game in multiple sports. The combination of individual and team accomplishments this year should continue to make North Carolina a premiere destination for top recruits everywhere.