BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech's Meghan O'Donoghue and UT Martin's Heather Butler have been selected as the Ohio Valley Conference's nominees for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. The award will be announced as the Woman of the Year Awards dinner in Indianapolis on October 19.
Each conference nominates up to two women and from that group the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics (CWA) narrows it down to the top 10 per division which will be announced in August. From those 30 candidates, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. Student-athletes are nominated only once in their career by their institution.
The NCAA CWA manages the nomination process and selections. In the past five years, 676 student-athletes were nominated by their conference or independent institutions, representing multiple ethnicities and all NCAA-sponsored sports within Divisions I, II and III. In 2013 alone, 455 student-athletes were nominated by their institutions. From 1998 through 2005, an average of 410 female student-athletes per year were nominated for the award; and since the program's inception in 1991, 2629 women have been recognized as state or conference honorees.
O'Donoghue, a political science and French with a 4.00 GPA, has been named to the Athletic Director's Honor eight times (2010-14) and the OVC Commissioner's Honor four times (2011-14). She also received the OVC Medal of Honor pick four times. She was awarded the Who's Who among American University and Colleges for French and Political Science. She was the secretary for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the treasurer of the Newman Campus Catholic Ministries for the past two years. She has volunteered with Hoops for Heroes and the Fill the End Zone canned food drive as well as helping with numerous charity races.
The Talbott, Tenn., native was a member of the Tennessee Tech Cross Country team 2010-13 while also running track for the Golden Eagles. She earned the team's Most Dedicated Runner Award and the team's Most Improved Award.
Next year, O'Donoghue will enter the Peace Corps as a Community Health Development Volunteer in Burkina Faso, following several months of volunteering with the Hope Center, a HIV/AIDS awareness program and treatment clinic in Knoxville, Tenn.
Butler posted a 3.87 GPA as a health and human performance major. She was named to the UT Martin Chancellor's Honor Roll and the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll each of her four years. Last year, Butler was one of three female student-athletes to earn the OVC Scholar Athlete Award. She has volunteered with the reading program at local elementary schools as well as being an elementary and middle school DARE program graduation speaker. She has helped with women's basketball summer camps and the SAAC Can Caravan as well as being a youth basketball coach.
Butler was a four-year team captain for the Skyhawks and led the team to four straight OVC Tournament titles and NCAA appearances. She was an All-OVC first team selection all four years of her career along with being named the OVC Freshman of the Year in 2010-10 and the Player of the Year last season. She became the league's all-time leading scorer with 2,865 career points which also ranks 16th in the NCAA. Butler reached double figures in all 129 games of her career, ranking as the second longest streak in the nation. The mark also ranks fifth all-time in the NCAA. The Medina, Tenn., native was also recently named the OVC Female Athlete of the Year. She is currently a member of the San Antonio Stars WNBA team.
Meghan O'Donoghue selected as OVC nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year
Jun 06, 2014