After leading the Hustlin' Owls men's basketball team to the national championship game for the first time since 2012, Oregon Tech junior Mitchell Fink was named the Oregon Sports Awards Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year on Wednesday.
Fink was one of three finalists for the award; fellow contenders included Zach Beltz, a competitor from Southern Oregon University's track and field team, and Connor Bailey, representing Willamette baseball. Finalists were nominated and selected through a statewide voting panel consisting of TV, radio and sports journalists, and sports professionals.
"This a very deserving award for Mitch. He joins elite company not only in Oregon Tech basketball history, but in all of Oregon small college athletics," said men's basketball head coach Justin Parnell. "He not only produces on the court but is a tremendous representative of Oregon Tech in the classroom and in the community. I have never been around a student-athlete who competes as fierce and who puts in more time in than Mitch does. He's an elite player and will go down as one of the best players in the history of the program."
Fink led Oregon Tech to a 28-8 overall record and a 2nd place finish at the NAIA National Tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D. Fink led the Owls in scoring this season averaging 15.1 points per game, as well as an NAIA leading 7.2 assists. Fink is now fourth all-time at OIT in total points scored with 1,553, and second all-time in assists with 656. Mitchell was recognized earlier this year as the Cascade Collegiate Conference Player of the Year for the second year in a row, and named a 2019 First-Team NAIA Division II All-American.
"It's an honor to win an Oregon Sports Award not only for myself but for our team and the great season we had," said Fink. "I'm thankful for the help and support that Oregon Institute of Technology has provided for our team throughout the season, we wouldn't have been able to accomplish these kinds of achievements without the support we receive."
Fink is the seventh Oregon Tech Athlete to win the award, and first Hustlin' Owl basketball player since Ryan Fiegi received the award 2008 after leading the Owls to a National Championship. Previous recipients include Tara Moates in 2017, Jackie Imhof and Bryant Sentman in 2011, Kelsie Haylett received the award in 2007, and Meagan Webber was Tech's first recipient in 2002.