WMU's Sanford Named Offensive Player of the Year

Updated 11/30/2000
  • Review the Robert Sanford Chat from Wednesday, Nov. 29

    CLEVELAND -- Western Michigan senior running back Robert Sanford, a graduate of Carol City High School, in Miami, Fla., has been honored as the 2000 Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year in voting among members of the MAC News Media Association.

    Sanford leads the MAC in rushing yards with 1,504 and is tied for rushing touchdowns with 18. His 136.7 yards per game also ranks seventh nationally. Sanford closed the season with seven consecutive games with 120 or more rushing yards, including a high of 203 against Marshall.

    Sanford led the Broncos to a 9-2 overall record and second consecutive appearance in the MAC Championship game. He needs just 39 yards to become Western's all-time leading rusher. He has 4,152 rushing yards which ranks sixth best in MAC history.

    Sanford's honor is the fifth in school history and the first for a Bronco since Tony Kimbrough was selected in 1988 - also the last year WMU went to a bowl game.

    Sanford received 33 of the 61 votes cast. Also receiving notice was Toledo running back Chester Taylor (16), Northern Illinois flanker Justin McCareins (7), Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich (2), Northern Illinois offensive tackle Ryan Diem (1), Akron running back Brandon Payne (1) and Eastern Michigan quarterback Walter Church (1).

    The MAC Coach of the Year and Vern Smith Leadership Award winner will both be announced Friday afternoon at the MAC Championship luncheon in Huntington, W.Va.