Steelers running back and Pitt and McDowell alum James Conner and Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke have been named the 2018 Dapper Dan sportsman and sportswoman of the year by readers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Conner, the Steelers’ second-year running back, was forced into a starting role thanks to a season-long contract dispute between the Steelers and 2017 starter Le’Veon Bell. Conner started 11 games and has rushed for 909 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has also had 469 yards receiving and one receiving touchdown. He has missed the Steelers’ last three games with an ankle injury.
Lyke, who is in her first full year at Pitt after taking coming to Oakland from Eastern Michigan in March 2017, oversaw the school’s first NCAA tournament bid in gymnastics since 2013, the first ACC tournament berth for the baseball team and the first ACC tournament final reached by the softball team, the hiring of new men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel and the first home NCAA tournament match in the volleyball team’s history.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Robert Morris hockey forward Brittany Howard won the awards in 2017. Dapper Dan Charities was founded by former Post-Gazette editor Al Abrams in 1936. This year’s awards will be presented at the charity’s annual dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 20.