From Ouachita Sports
Kyle Parris, Sports Information Director
ARKADELPHIA – NCAA conferences and independent schools have nominated 142 female student-athletes for the 2016 Woman of the Year Award. Ouachita Tigers women’s soccer graduate Haley Hatcher is this year’s Great American Conference (GAC) nominee.
Hatcher, a three-time Ouachita Female Athlete and Scholar-Athlete of the Year, is one of 37 honorees from Division II. The three-time GAC Player of the Year and two-time All-American was previously named the 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-America® of the Year award for Division II women’s soccer.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award was established in 1991, recognizing graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. Ouachita Baptist University Athletic Director David Sharp stated that Hatcher was a most-deserving nominee.
“Haley has been a stellar student-athlete here at Ouachita,” Sharp said. “Beyond her dominance on the field, she’s been an active leader on campus and in the community. She represents everything our coaches look for in a student-athlete. I’m proud to see her accomplishments as a Ouachita Tiger recognized by the NCAA.”
GAC commissioner Will Prewitt echoed Sharp’s praise of Hatcher, who ended her career as the conference’s all-time leading scorer with 55 career goals in 56 games.
“Haley has distinguished herself as a student, athlete and person you want to represent your conference,” Prewitt said. “She has performed at an exemplary level at Ouachita with both her athletic and scholastic achievements. Her selection as a Woman of the Year nominee from such an outstanding pool of candidates is richly deserved.”
These women, selected from a record 517 school nominees, represent college athletes from 17 different sports spanning all three NCAA divisions. Of those recognized, 54 nominees competed in Division I, 37 in Division II and 51 in Division III.
In early September, the Woman of the Year selection committee will name the Top 30 honorees, representing the top 10 women in each division. The selection committee will then choose and announce the nine finalists, with three from each division, at the end of September. Then, from the pool of nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will determine the 2016 Woman of the Year.
The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual banquet Oct. 16 in Indianapolis.