CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Megan Cooney and Blake Hayes are the 2022 Illinois Big Ten Medal of Honor winners. The annual award is given annually to one male and female graduating athlete from each school in the conference, recognizing excellence both on and off the field throughout their college career.

Cooney helped lead the Illini volleyball team to four NCAA tournament appearances in her five-year career, including a run to the Final Four in 2018. The First Team All-Big Ten selection is the school’s all-time leader in sets played (554), ranking 10th on the career kills list with 1,507.

Hayes was a five-year starter and three-year captain for Illini football, breaking nearly every punting category during his time in Champaign.