RICHARDSON, Texas – East Texas Baptist University graduate and softball standout Jayme Perez will represent the American Southwest Conference on the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award ballot.
Perez (Austin, Texas/James Bowie HS) was selected by vote of the ASC Senior Woman Administrators from women nominated by conference members for the national award. Established in 1991 and now in its 27th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and have distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
Perez will join conference and independent nominees from all three NCAA divisions moving forward in the Woman of the Year award process. Over 540 women were nominated by their institutions for the prestigious award, including 197 from Division III member institutions.
"I am so honored to be the American Southwest Conference nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year. I have had the best experience, both in the classroom and playing softball, and that involvement has served to mold me into a stronger person as well as a leader," Perez said.
Perez received her undergraduate degree in mass communications from East Texas Baptist and is seeking a master's degree in business administration from the University as recipient of an NCAA Ethnic Minority Graduate Scholarship. Perez was named to softball first team CoSIDA Academic All-America and All-District lists in 2017 and is a three-time Academic All-Conference honoree. She was selected to attend the NCAA Career in Sports Forum in June, an experience which put participants in contact with successful individuals in the sports business industry.
On the softball field, Perez was named to National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America teams in each of her four seasons, including All-American First Team as a utility player in 2017, and is the second four-time All-American softball player in ASC history. Perez was named All-Conference and All-West Region First Team four times, and claimed conference and NCAA all-tournament awards throughout her career.
"The breadth of involvement Jayme Perez maintained in academic and leadership pursuits, coupled with her team and individual athletics success, models the NCAA Woman of the Year, Division III and American Southwest Conference student-athlete ideals," said Amy Carlton, commissioner of the American Southwest Conference.
A member of the ETBU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Perez served terms as president and vice president of the organization, directing various community service initiatives for SAAC and her team. Perez was a member of the ETBU Student Foundation, Tiger Camp planning committee, and served as a physical education volunteer teaching assistant at Trinity Episcopal School in Marshall. During her collegiate career, Perez was recipient of the University's Joe and Marilyn Hogue Presidential Servant Leadership and President's Christian Scholar-Athlete awards, given in recognition of academic achievement and commitment to service.
"Leadership, faith, work ethic and commitment to excellence made Jayme a leader among her peers on the softball team and on the campus," ETBU Vice President for Athletics Ryan Erwin said. "We are proud to call Jayme an alumna of East Texas Baptist University and NCAA Woman of the Year candidate."
Perez is the third East Texas Baptist student-athlete selected to represent the ASC on the NCAA Woman of the Year ballot, joining 2012 nominee Ashton Brey and Lya Swaner who was a Top Nine honoree in 2013. She is also the fifth softball student-athlete to advance as the ASC nominee for Woman of the Year.
Established in 1991 and now in its 27th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and have distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the top 30 honorees—10 from each division—before narrowing to the top three honorees from each division. The 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced October 22 during the celebratory dinner in Indianapolis.