Soucie Named Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year

IRVING, Texas – Often praised as an exemplary representative of Kansas volleyball, Tayler Soucie will now represent all Big 12 Conference female student-athletes as the winner of the 2015-16 Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year award, the conference office announced on Thursday.

“As a three-year starter, she has made a positive impact for our team her entire career,” Kansas volleyball head coach Ray Bechard said. “As her career has progressed, so has her willingness to get more involved in other things. There’s not a better representative of our program and our athletic department than Tayler Soucie. We’re really proud of all that she’s provided for us on the court, but also how she’s represented our athletic department off of the court.”

Soucie is recognized as a tremendous competitor on the court, who is humble in victory and gracious in defeat. She played in all 113 sets in 2015 while helping the Jayhawks to a historic run to their first appearance in the NCAA Championship semifinals. She also excels in the classroom and spends countless hours finding ways to give back to her university and the community of Lawrence.

The Osawatomie, Kansas native is an active member of the Kansas Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), where she held the position of Community Outreach Chair during the 2015-16 academic year. She is also KU’s female Big 12 SAAC representative. Soucie completed 140.5 community service hours from August 2015 through May 2016. These community service hours came from various activities including Big Brothers Big Sisters, volunteering at local hospitals and visiting local elementary schools. She is also responsible for creating a Holiday Toy Drive for a local pediatric hospital.

“Here’s a young woman who obviously helped us be the best we can on the court and then she still finds time to create opportunities off the court,” Bechard continued. “She proves that you can be a champion in all areas of your life. I think that speaks volumes of the type of person she is and the type of people we want in our program.”

It is the fourth Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year honor for Kansas Athletics, and second for the Jayhawk volleyball program. The previous KU winners were awarded the male or female Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year distinction for three consecutive years – Amanda Costner (women’s golf) in 2007, Katie Martincich (volleyball) in 2008, and Darrell Stuckey (football) in 2009.

Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield (basketball) joins Soucie as the male Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year.

Tayler Soucie (Junior in 2015-16, Osawatomie, Kan.)
• Accumulated over 140 community service hours during the 2015-16 academic year while participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters, along with volunteering at the local hospital and visiting local elementary schools.
• Tayler is responsible for creating the Holiday Toy Drive benefiting a local hospital.
• Named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team in both 2015 and 2014 and has found herself on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll six times.
• Holds the Community Outreach Chair position on KU’s SAAC and is the Jayhawk’s Female Big 12 SAAC representative.

Big 12 Athletes & Sportspersons of the Year
The Big 12 annually recognizes its top male and female athlete and sportsperson. The Athlete of the Year Awards are selected based on athletic performance, academic achievement, and citizenship within the academic year of nomination. The Sportspersons of the Year Award was started prior to the 2000-01 academic campaign to recognize student-athletes who displayed an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship and/or community service from within the conference. Honorees are selected by a media panel.

Kansas Big 12 Sportspersons of the Year
2006-07: Amanda Costner, Women’s Golf
2007-08: Katie Martincich, Volleyball
2008-09: Darrell Stuckey, Football
2015-16: Tayler Soucie, Volleyball

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