Jones Receives 2014 Marlene Mawson Award
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas outfielder Alex Jones was recognized for her hard work and consistent positive attitude both on and off the softball field, along with her involvement in the community, as the senior was named the 2014 recipient of the Marlene Mawson Exemplary Student-Athlete Award on Wednesday night.
Jones received the award from Marlene Mawson, head coach Megan Smith and Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator Debbie Van Saun during the women’s basketball game against Oklahoma State. The award is presented by Kansas Athletics to one senior female student-athlete each year that played an integral role on her respective team and demonstrates strong character and leadership qualities, while also being a strong competitor in the classroom and on the field.
Nicknamed the “Mother of Kansas Athletics”, Dr. Marlene Mawson was appointed to a full-time physical education faculty position with the added responsibility of initiating an intercollegiate women’s sports program in 1968. In addition to directing the program, Dr. Mawson coached women’s basketball, volleyball, softball and field hockey during her first three years at KU. For 22 years, Dr. Mawson was a professor and administrator at the University of Kansas.
Mawson served as the Jayhawks’ first softball coach during the 1969-70 seasons, kicking off a sport that has grown exponentially in its 44 years of existence at Kansas. Softball officially became an NCAA Division I sport at Kansas in 1982.
Jones has proved how hard work and never giving up can turn an awful situation into a life-changing experience. During the fall prior to her junior year, Jones tore her ACL while sprinting to first base. Although devastated to miss her junior season, she was devoted to returning to the field. She never missed a rehab session and came in every day prepared for the hard work required to return the centerfielder, pitcher and base-stealer back to full speed.
The outfielder/pitcher proudly returned to the starting lineup for the 2013 season and led the Jayhawks with a 1.94 ERA in the circle, 11 stolen bases all while hitting for a .324 average at the plate to help Kansas claim the 2013 National Batting Title.
Even more inspiring, however, is the fact that she used her painful experience to decide on her future career aspirations. A two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team member, Jones is now on her way to a medical career in physical therapy – as she plans to help others get through the same adversity she had to face.
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