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1997 NCAA Woman of the Year

Lisa Ann Coole, University of Georgia


Coole named NCAA's Woman of the Year

The NCAA News, October 27, 1997


Lisa Ann Coole 1997 NCAA Woman of the Year

Lisa Ann Coole, a record-setting swimmer at the University of Georgia, was named 1997 NCAA Woman of the Year October 19.

Coole received the award at the seventh annual NCAA Woman of the Year awards dinner at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.

"This is just amazing," Coole said. "This is nice closure to what has been a wonderful career. It recognizes what the college experience was all about -- academics, athletics and service.

"Everyone was so deserving and I feel for the committee because it had to make a very tough decision. All the nominees are winners."

Coole emerged from more than 400 nominees to win the award. A special selection committee chose 51 state winners, including the District of Columbia, and narrowed the field to 10 national finalists. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics selected the Woman of the Year from the 10 finalists.

The Woman of the Year award honors academic and athletics excellence as well as community service and leadership.

Coole graduated from Georgia with a 3.620 grade-point average while majoring in biology. She was a two-time NCAA champion and 26-time all-American during her four-year swimming career at Georgia. She also won gold, silver and bronze medals at the World University Games in 1995 and has been named to two national swim teams.

A native of Rockford, Illinois, Coole was an active volunteer throughout her college career. She was involved with the Athens-Clarke County mentor program and an Athens-area homeless shelter for three years and twice was a volunteer for National Student-Athlete Day.



1997 NCAA Woman of the Year Finalists

  • Shelly L. Bartlett, gymnastics, Nebraska: 1997 individual all-around champion in the Big Twelve Conference ... 1997 female student-athlete of the year at Nebraska ... Earned all-America honors in the bars, vault and all-around ... Majored in secondary education/social sciences ...Volunteered for D.A.R.E., People's Mission City, Malone Community Center, No Guns/Know Guns, Omaha Literacy Council and "School is Cool" Jam ... Received Chancellor's Leadership Scholarship and Herman Team GPA Award.
  • Sara Bloom, rowing, Bucknell: Winner of two Patriot League gold medals ... Team captain for two years ...Two-time US Rowing collegiate all-American ... Second-place finish in women's intermediate eights at the 1996 American Rowing Championships ... Majored in biology ... Volunteered as coach and academic tutor ... Member of Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa national academic/leadership honor societies.
  • Virginia Bolenbaugh, gymnastics, Seattle Pacific: National champion at 1996 USA Gymnastics Collegiate Nationals ... Five time all-American ... Majored in religious studies and educational ministry ... Member of Seattle Pacific student-athlete advisory committee and Alpha Kappa Sigma honor society ... Volunteer for Athletes in Action and as companion for elderly ... 1997 USA Gymnastics national-championship team member.
  • Lisa Ann Coole, swimming, Georgia: Won the 100-meter butterfly at the 1996 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships and was a member of the national-champion 200-meter freestyle relay team in 1995 ... Majored in biology ... Three-time all-American ... Glamour Magazine's Top-10 College Women in America ... Volunteer for Athens-area homeless shelter and Salvation Army ... Participated in 1995 World University Games.
  • Julie Anne Roe, basketball, Millikin: Majored in American studies ... Women's Basketball Coaches Association Kodak All-American ... Named most outstanding player in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin two times ... President of Alpha Lambda Delta honorary fraternity and vice-president of Delta Delta Delta ... Member of provost's internal athletics review team ... Volunteer English teacher ... Named Millikin Scovill Scholar ... Member of NCAA Division III sectional all-tournament team.
  • Ann Sieckert, volleyball, Augustana (South Dakota): An emergency medical technician and student coach ... Majored in nursing/biology ... Listed in 1997 Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities ... Named most valuable player/player of the year in the North Central Conference in 1996 ... First-team all-American ... Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.
  • Natasha W. Taylor, basketball, West Texas A&M: Named the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Female Athlete of the Year ... Member of the university's student-athlete advisory committee and Alpha Chi honor society ... Majored in kinesiology ... Named most valuable player in the Lone Star Conference ... Volunteer for Camp Fire Girls and Meals on Wheels ... GTE Academic All-America and Kodak All-American first team.
  • Stacey Williams, track, soccer and basketball, Wilmington (Ohio): Holder of the Wilmington record in the 400-meter relay ... Two-time recipient of the Presidential Award in basketball ... Participant in the Umbro Select Senior Bowl Game ... Named the Ohio Player of the Year in 1996 ... Majored in physical education ... Volunteer for Head Start ... Named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America all-American team in Division III ... GTE Academic All-America.
  • Meredith P. Willard, gymnastics, Alabama: Helped Alabama win the National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships team title in 1996 and also won the all-around championship ... Named the gymnast of the year in the Southeastern Conference in 1997 ... Runner-up in the national all-around competition in 1997 ... Named Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1997 by the Alabama Sports Writers Association ... Recipient of NCAA postgraduate scholarship ... Majored in marketing ... Volunteer for Salvation Army and Project Angel Tree ... First-team GTE Academic All-America ... Member of Alabama student-athlete advisory committee ... Four-time scholastic all-American.
  • Wendy L. Wolff, softball, Wisconsin-Parkside: Named to the 1997 NCAA all-tournament team ... Advocate for Surviving Sexual Assault ... Softball clinic instructor ... Player of the year in the Great Lakes Valley Conference ... Two-time first-team all-American ... Majored in English ... Volunteer for Homeward Bound ... Named to Great Lakes Valley Conference all-academic team.


State-Level Winners

1997 NCAA Woman of the Year Logo

  • Alabama: Meredith P. Willard, Gymnastics, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • Alaska: Elena Tkacheva, Gymnastics, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Arizona: Leah Marie O'Brien, Softball, University of Arizona
  • Arkansas: Megan Flowers, Cross country, track and field, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  • California: Kimberly S. Haskell, Soccer, University of California, Davis
  • Colorado: Narcisa Sehovic, Skiing, University of Denver
  • Connecticut: Cheryl Simmons, Field hockey, Sacred Heart University
  • Delaware: Carol J. Marquez, Tennis, Delaware State University
  • District of Columbia: Joyce Luncher, Swimming, Catholic University
  • Florida: Casey Jo Custer, Track and field, Florida State University
  • Georgia: Lisa Ann Coole, Swimming, University of Georgia
  • Hawaii: Angelica Ljungquist, Volleyball, University of Hawaii, Manoa
  • Idaho: Lynne Hyland, Volleyball, University of Idaho
  • Illinois: Julie Anne Roe, Basketball, Millikin University
  • Indiana: Jennifer Renola, Soccer, University of Notre Dame
  • Iowa: Jennifer Ann Peters, Cross country, track and field, Loras College
  • Kansas: Belinda Ann Hope, Track and field, Kansas State University
  • Kentucky: Christina R. Brown, Cross country, indoor and outdoor track, Western Kentucky University
  • Louisiana: Becky Ann Gibbs, Swimming, Louisiana State University
  • Maine: Kara Jean Patterson, Cross country, outdoor track, Colby College
  • Maryland: Rachel A. Barnes, Lacrosse, field hockey, College of Notre Dame
  • Massachusetts: Kirsten S. Paquette, Indoor and outdoor track, Williams College
  • Michigan: Betsy J. Haverkamp, Cross country, track and field, Calvin College
  • Minnesota: Rebekah R. Ormsby, Cross country, indoor and outdoor track, Augsburg College
  • Mississippi: Ta'Mika R. Roddy, Cross country, indoor and outdoor track, Jackson State University
  • Missouri: Kirsten Bernthal, Volleyball, Truman State University
  • Montana: Greta V. Koss, Basketball, University of Montana
  • Nebraska: Shelly L. Bartlett, Gymnastics, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • Nevada: Marianne Vallin, Tennis, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • New Hampshire: Lori Monroe, Tennis, track and field, Colby-Sawyer College
  • New Jersey: Lisa R. Giaconia, Cross country, track and field, St. Peter's College
  • New Mexico: Heather Lynn Turner, Basketball, Western New Mexico University
  • New York: Katherine B. Maynard, Volleyball, softball, State University College at Potsdam
  • North Carolina: Susan Stogner, Volleyball, basketball, Lenoir-Rhyne College
  • North Dakota: Kasey Morlock, Basketball, North Dakota State University
  • Ohio: Stacey Williams, Soccer, track and field, basketball, Wilmington College
  • Oklahoma: Jenny Bramer, Basketball, track and field, University of Oklahoma
  • Oregon: Jessica L. Trippet, Basketball, Portland State University
  • Pennsylvania: Sara A. Bloom, Rowing, Bucknell University
  • Rhode Island: Amy Schauble, Softball, Rhode Island College
  • South Carolina: Jessica Nora Nixon, Swimming, University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • South Dakota: Ann Sieckert, Volleyball, Augustana College
  • Tennessee: Tracy Margaret Bonner, Swimming and diving, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Texas: Natasha W. Taylor, Basketball, West Texas A&M University
  • Utah: Christl Hager, Skiing, University of Utah
  • Vermont: Amy DiAdamo, Lacrosse, soccer, Middlebury College
  • Virginia: Erin Hamm, Soccer, Randolph-Macon College
  • Washington: Virginia Bolenbaugh, Gymnastics, Seattle Pacific University
  • West Virginia: Kristin Ann Quackenbush, Gymnastics, West Virginia University
  • Wisconsin: Wendy L. Wolff, Softball, University of Wisconsin, Parkside
  • Wyoming: Jesseca H. Cross, Basketball, track and field, University of Wyoming