In a day filled with accolades for C.J. Stroud, the Houston Texans’ rookie quarterback, the Houston Sports Awards on Tuesday proved to be the pinnacle of his achievements. Stroud not only secured a spot in the Pro Bowl but also witnessed his offensive coordinator, Bobby Slowik, and quarterback coach, Jerrod Johnson, retained by the team. The crowning moment came at the 713 Music Hall during the awards ceremony.
Stroud clinched the titles of both the city’s Newcomer of the Year and Athlete of the Year, capping off a remarkable night. The talented quarterback was unable to attend the ceremony, but his on-field prowess spoke volumes.
For the prestigious Athlete of the Year honor, Stroud triumphed over formidable competitors, including Kyle Tucker from the Astros, Jalen Green from the Rockets, Hector Herrera from the Dynamo, and Jane Campbell from the Dash. In the Newcomer of the Year category, he outshone Tank Dell (Texans), Yainer Diaz (Astros), Jabari Smith Jr. (Rockets), and Amine Bassi (Dynamo).
Stroud’s impressive season statistics included throwing for 4,108 yards and 23 touchdowns with a mere five interceptions. Leading the NFL in passing yards per game and boasting an exceptional touchdowns-to-interception ratio, Stroud emerged as a standout performer in the league. Notably, he was part of the Houston Sports Awards’ Moment of the Year, recognizing the Texans’ strategic moves during the draft night that brought him in as the No. 2 overall pick, alongside pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. at No. 3. The duo played pivotal roles in propelling the Texans to the playoffs for the first time in four years.
The Houston Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony took center stage during the awards night, welcoming legendary figures like Warren Moon (Oilers), Lance Berkman (Astros), and Cynthia Cooper (Comets). Former Oilers players, including about 20 attendees, witnessed Moon’s induction, and he was introduced by his former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. Berkman received accolades from ex-Astros teammate Chris Burke, and his tribute included a performance by Texas Country artist Robert Earl Keen, playing “Feelin’ Good Again.” Van Chancellor, former Comets coach, introduced Cynthia Cooper, expressing his awe at her incredible skills from the very first practice.
The night also recognized other outstanding individuals in the Houston sports community:
- Inspiration Award: Eric Coovert, Kingwood Park High School assistant coach, who overcame plasmablastic lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, continuing to coach and teach.
- Boys High School Athlete of the Year: D.J. Lagway, quarterback, Willis High School.
- Girls High School Athlete of the Year: Ava Brown, softball pitcher, Lake Creek High School.
- High School Coach of the Year: Jimmy Krueger, soccer, Seven Lakes High School.
- Community Impact of the Year: Peggy Turner, TIRR Memorial Hermann, for work with athletes with disabilities.
- Lifetime Achievement: Louis Pearce, honored for his legacy through 66 years of work at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
- Lifetime Civic Champion Award: Sylvester Turner, acknowledged for the major sporting events the city hosted during his tenure as mayor.
The dual honors for C.J. Stroud at the Houston Sports Awards underscored his exceptional contributions to the Texans and the city’s sporting scene, solidifying his status as a rising star in the NFL.