By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information; and OVC Media Relations
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – For the third time in four years, at least one Tennessee Tech student-athlete was honored with the most prestigious, individual honor bestowed by the Ohio Valley Conference. Golden Eagle soccer senior Kaitie Shipley was named as one of six recipients of the 2019-20 OVC Scholar-Athlete Award, announced by the league Thursday morning.
The award is given annually to three men and three women student-athletes for their accomplishments in both the classroom and athletic arena, and because of their leadership qualities. Shipley became the 34th Golden Eagle student-athlete to take home the honor and the first since both Allyson Dunn and Josh Poplar earned the award in 2017-18.
"This is such an amazing honor for Kaitie," said Tech director of athletics Mark Wilson. "She represents everything we want our student-athletes to be; dedicated to success in athletics, in the classroom and in the community.
"To win one of these awards is not an easy task, so it really speaks volumes of not only her efforts, but of those in our academic and athletic community helping our student-athletes shine even brighter and excel well beyond their potential."
Shipley recently concluded her final season with the Tech soccer program, where she had been a multi-year starter and team captain. A forward during her freshman campaign, the Barrie, Ontario native unselfishly moved to the defensive side of the pitch for her final three seasons in the purple and gold, earning All-OVC First Team honors as a center back and anchor of the Tech back line last season. She was also named Team MVP of the 2018 Tech squad.
"I am so happy and excited for Kaitie," Tech head soccer coach Steve Springthorpe said. "What better way to close out your career as a student athlete. Being chosen to receive such a prestigious award is something that I know Kaitie appreciates and will treasure as she moves into the next phase of her life. I personally want to thank all the faculty representatives and voting committee for voting for Kaitie and honoring her with this award."
The senior owns a 4.0 grade point average in exercise science and physical education with a concentration in fitness and wellness and a minor in science. A year ago Shipley was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and she has earned multiple OVC Academic Medal of Honor awards in addition to being named to the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll three times. She has been tabbed to the Tech Athletic Director's Honor Roll each of her six semesters at Tech.
In 2019, Shipley earned the Tech Athletics' President's Award for the soccer team and has been a Gold Club Award recipient four times.
Shipley is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Tennessee Tech University Advisory Council for Education. Over the past three years she has accumulated more than 60 hours of volunteer work including working with the Cookeville Shelter, Next Step Mission, Great Move-In Day and the Cookeville Rescue Mission as well as serving as a tutor.
The other award winners included Joe Caputo (Eastern Illinois, football), Meike Drewell (Murray State, rifle), Nick Howie (Eastern Kentucky, baseball), Alexa Potts (Morehead State, rifle) and James Sappington (Murray State, football).
The six winners were selected from a group of 19 finalists by a vote of OVC Faculty Athletics Representatives. The honorees must have performed athletically with distinction, earned at least a 3.25 grade point average and conducted themselves in a manner which has brought credit to the student-athlete, his or her institution, intercollegiate athletics and the OVC. The award is based on academic and athletic criteria and accomplishments achieved in the 2018-19 academic year.
The other nominees included: Rachel Anderson of Southeast Missouri (softball), Sadie Anderson of Jacksonville State (volleyball), Michael Busse of Austin Peay (golf), Lindsey Carlson of Eastern Illinois (soccer), Ellie Harmeyer of Belmont (basketball), Seth Huner of Tennessee Tech (football), Laura Heslop of Eastern Kentucky (soccer), Hendrik Inno of Belmont (tennis), Kaitlin Korinek of UT Martin (rifle), Emily Moore of Austin Peay (softball), Julia Pierson of Tennessee State (volleyball), Ross Redmont of UT Martin (golf), Landon Rice of Jacksonville State (football).
Photo by Thomas Corhern