April 27, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama women’s golf team followed up its first Southeastern Conference Championship with a bevy of awards on Tuesday when the SEC released its annual women’s golf awards.
Crimson Tide head coach Mic Potter was named the league’s Coach of the Year while Jennifer Kirby was selected as the SEC Freshman of the Year and Brooke Pancake was tabbed as the conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Tide also had three All-SEC selections with junior Camilla Lennarth and Kirby earning first-team accolades while Pancake was named to the second team.
“You certainly don’t do your job to get coach of the year,” Potter said. “In the long run it really is a player’s award. Susan (Rosenstiel) or myself would not be in the position we are as conference champions without the fact that we have good players and good kids that work hard in school and in golf. To be truthful, our team is self-motivated and inspired, and they all want to be their best and that makes our job really easy.”
For Potter it was his second SEC Coach of the Year honor after sharing the award in 2007. A 1994 NGCA Hall of Fame inductee, Potter has now captured 10 Coach of the Year honors after winning eight times in the Southern Conference at Furman. He has led his teams at Alabama and Furman to 19 NCAA Championship berths and six top-10 national finishes.
A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Pancake has excelled on both the course and in the classroom. The sophomore was named the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year with a perfect 4.0 grade point average during her two years at the Capstone. She also earned second-team All-SEC honors after posting a 73.68 scoring average in 2009-10 with three top-10 finishes, including a tie for fifth at the SEC Championships.
“It takes a tremendous time commitment to work as hard as she does in school,” Potter said of Pancake. “I think she is academically gifted, but a lot of what she accomplishes is through hard work. Then working on golf itself is fairly time intensive. Our entire team works above and beyond because they want to be great at everything they do. There couldn’t be a more shining example of that work ethic than Brooke Pancake.”
Kirby, a true freshman from Paris, Ontario, Canada, was named the SEC Freshman of the Year and selected first-team All-SEC after putting together a season, that to this point, is better than any other freshman in school history. She is second on the team and sixth in the SEC with a 72.92 stroke average with eight rounds under par and three rounds in the 60s. Kirby has posted three top-10 finishes and seven top-20 showings in nine events this season.
“We had pretty high expectations of Jennifer after the summer she had with a win at the Canadian Amateur,” Potter said. “We thought she could come in and fill Kathleen’s (Ekey) role in our lineup and have a pretty good year. There are a lot of good freshmen coming into the SEC every year, so that is a very competitive award and a very high honor. I’m not surprised she won it and we are certainly happy she is with us. She brings a lot to our team with great character and a great leader by example. We look forward to have her around for three more years.”
Lennarth, who hails from Stockholm, Sweden, and anchored the Crimson Tide throughout the 2009-10 season just missed SEC Player of the Year honors, but was selected first-team All-SEC for the second straight year. Lennarth leads the team and ranks fourth in the league with a 72.72 scoring average with five top-10 showings and not placing out of the top 25 in any of UA’s nine events.
Alabama returns to action on May 6-8 at the NCAA West Regionals at the Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif. The top eight teams at the NCAA West Regional will qualify for the NCAA Championships on May 18-21 at the Country Club of the Landfall in Wilmington, N.C.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mic Potter, Alabama
GOLFER OF THE YEAR
Marina Alex, Vanderbilt
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Brooke Pancake, Alabama
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Jennifer Kirby, Alabama
Cydney Clanton, Auburn, Jr.
Marina Alex, Vanderbilt, Soph.
Marta Silva Zamora, Georgia, Soph.
Kelli Shean, Arkansas, Jr.
Nathlie Mansson, Tennessee, Soph.
Camilla Lennarth, Alabama, Jr.
Jennifer Kirby, Alabama, Fr.
Megan McChrystal, LSU, Jr.
Second Team All-SEC
Emilie Burger, Georgia, Fr.
Tessa Teachman, LSU, Soph.
Candace Schepperle, Auburn, Sr.
Brooke Pancake, Alabama, Soph.
Katie Burnett, South Carolina, Soph.
Isabelle Lendl, Florida, Fr.
Diana Cantu’, Tennessee, Sr.
Sara Grantham, Mississippi, Sr.
Jennifer Kirby, Alabama
Emilie Burger, Georgia
Lauren Stratton, Vanderbilt
Isabelle Lendl, Florida
Carlie Yadloczky, Auburn
Erica Popson, Tennessee
Amanda Strang, South Carolina
Anna Leigh Keith, Vanderbilt