June 9, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The honors continue to stream in for Alabama gymnast Kayla Hoffman, who was named the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, on Thursday.
“Kayla continues to reap the rewards of an incredible career,” UA gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson said. “To earn a place on the Academic All-American At-Large team is such a wonderful honor in itself, but to be named the Academic All-American of the Year is a truly awesome recognition of the all around excellence that Kayla brought to every aspect of her collegiate career.”
Hoffman was joined on the 2011 Academic All-American At-Large First Team by junior golfer Brooke Pancake, while junior tennis player Courtney McLane was named to the second team.
“We’re extremely proud to have all three of our nominees earn a place on the Women’s Academic All-America At-Large Team,” UA Director of Athletics Mal Moore said. “Kayla, Brooke and Courtney are perfect examples of what can be accomplished through hard work, dedication and drive.”
Hoffman is the third Crimson Tide athlete to be named Academic All-American of the Year, joining quarterback Greg McElroy, who earned the honor in the fall, and gymnast Stephanie Kite, who became the first UA athlete to earn the accolade in 2004.
“Like Kayla, Stephanie was also part of NCAA and SEC Championship teams and they both earned All-American honors in the gym and the classroom during their respective careers, proving once again that at the University of Alabama, you can truly have it all,” Patterson said.
A Human Development and Family Studies major with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, Hoffman capped off her brilliant career by leading Alabama to its fifth NCAA gymnastics championship in April.
The winner of the 2011 Honda Award, presented to the national collegiate gymnast of the year, the Union, N.J. native earned first team All-American honors in the all-around, vault and balance beam in 2011 in leading Alabama to the national championship.
A five-time All-American, Hoffman became the first student-athlete to be named as the Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Year and the SEC Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the same season.
Named the NCAA Central Region Gymnast of the Year, she won the vault, bars, floor and all-around titles at the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional. During the 2011 season, she won 29 event titles and scored 9.90 or better 30 times.
The recipient of post-graduate scholarships from the NCAA and the SEC, Hoffman won 55 event titles in her career and posted 78 scores of 9.90 or better. In addition to leading the Tide to the 2011 championship, she was part of UA’s NCAA runner-up finish in 2009 and third place team in 2010.
Hoffman joins Julie Estin (1986 and 1987), Kelly Good (1988), Dana Dobransky (1993 and 1992), Meredith Willard (1997), Merritt Booth (1998), Kristin Sterner (2003), Stephanie Kite (2003 and 2004) and Kassi Price (2008, 2009 and 2010) as UA gymnasts who were voted to Academic All-America At-Large Team.
“Because the at-large team encompasses so many sports, it is a particularly difficult honor to earn, so to have had Alabama gymnasts earn a place on this prestigious list 14 times, including seven times since 2000 is tremendous point of pride for our program,” Patterson said.
To this point in the 2010-11 academic year, 16 Alabama student-athletes have earned a place on Academic All-District IV teams. Seven of those, Hoffman, Pancake, McElroy, McLane, softball player Kayla Braud, swimmer Kyle Weeks and football player Barrett Jones, have earned Academic All-American honors. With one Academic All-America team left to be announced, track and field which will be announced next week, the Tide's total already matches the school record set last year.