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Melbourne University Sport Recognises Jason Kotchoff for his Distinguished Service to MUBC

December 17th, 2023 - submitted by Peter Rossiter

MUBC is proud to congratulate Jason Kotchoff (AKA Smoke) on being awarded a Distinguished Service Award by Melbourne University Sport (MUS) on Thursday, December 7. This prestigious award is a testament to Jason's exceptional and consistent contribution to the Club over the past two decades.

This has been a truly exceptional year for Smoke, who not only received this Distinguished Service Award from MUS but was also honoured with a Life Membership by MUBC. Smoke becomes only the second member of MUBC to be recognised with the MUS Distinguished Service Award after Andrew Walker received his in 2015.

Jason's journey with MUBC began in 2002, marking the commencement of a remarkable legacy within the club's culture. From the outset, he demonstrated his commitment to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment within the club. As a player, he not only excelled on the court but also encouraged others to join various tournaments, leading the way to an A-grade championship at the Albury tournament in 2002.

Just as noteworthy is Smoke’s contributions to the growth of the MUBC program. In 2005, he revamped the club's online presence by creating a new website with an active forum to engage and connect members. In 2013, he further elevated the club's operations by redesigning the website to automated membership sign-up and fee collection, making it easier for members to join.

Jason's impact also extends to team success, where he played a pivotal role in various championships and runners-up. Notable achievements include the A-grade championship at the Albury tournament in 2002, Division 2 runners-up in the MMBL in 2003, a Big V Championship in Division 2 in 2009, and the club’s inaugural regular season A-grade championship this year on Thursday nights at MSAC.

His individual accomplishments as a player have been exemplary, earning recognition for his skills and dedication. Named to the Big V squad for multiple years and participating in the Australian Uni Games in 2005, Jason's exceptional performance contributed significantly to the team's success.

A champion of club culture, Jason has worked tirelessly to ensure that MUBC is a welcoming place for people of all backgrounds and skill levels. His initiative in coordinating alumni events has continued to foster a sense of belonging with past members. His active involvement and welcoming attitude have helped make the club a place where everyone feels valued and has ensured that Smoke has been a beloved member of MUBC for over two decades. 

Jason's contributions have also included coaching the women's Australian Uni Games team, volunteering as a statistician for the Big V women, and actively participating in the coaching of the club's women's team from 2017 to 2019. 

Smoke's Distinguished Service Award from MUS is a well-deserved recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Melbourne University Basketball Club. His legacy as a player, mentor, and administrator will undoubtedly continue to inspire and shape the future of MUBC.

Congratulations, Smoke!