Soucie receives Marlene Mawson Exemplary Student-Athlete Award

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas volleyball senior Tayler Soucie was recognized for her hard work and selfless attitude both on and off the court, along with her involvement in the community, as she was named the 2017 recipient of the Marlene Mawson Exemplary Student-Athlete Award.

“If you were going to draw up what you want in a student-athlete and how you would want them to represent your program 24-7 off the floor, Tayler Soucie comes as close to that as anybody we’ve had here in a long time,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “That’s what this award represents — somebody who has taken the opportunity presented to her and run with it.”

Soucie received the award from Marlene Mawson, head coach Ray Bechard and Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator Debbie Van Saun during the women’s basketball game. The award is presented by Kansas Athletics to one senior female student-athlete each year who 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 in the field of play.

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.

“A lot of opportunities for present female student-athlete at The University of Kansas can be traced back to Marlene getting opportunities for women to compete,” Bechard said. “She was a student-athlete, coach, and administrator. At every level, she was an advocate for women in sport. It’s very deserving that we honor her legacy with this award, and I think it’s very deserving that Tayler is the recipient.” 

Soucie earned All-Big 12 honors for the third-straight season while helping Kansas to the program’s first conference title in 2016. She finished her career second on KU’s all-time blocks list (546) and third on the career hitting percentage list (.320). The Osawatomie, Kansas native led the conference in blocks per set (1.52) during Big 12 play this season.

“She was a huge part of our success the last four years as a four-year starter,” Bechard concluded. “One thing that was consistent every day was her willingness to get better and how much she loved her teammates and how much she loved Kansas volleyball. You could see that every time she trained, every time she competed, and every time she represented us off the floor.” 

During her collegiate career, Soucie was an active member of the Kansas Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), where she held the position of Community Outreach Chair and served as KU’s female Big 12 SAAC representative during the 2015-16 academic year. Soucie clocked numerous community service hours 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.

Marlene Mawson Exemplary Student-Athlete Award Winners
Year Student-Athlete Sport
2008 Lauren Bonds Cross Country/Track & Field
2009 Sha’Ray Butler Track & Field
2010 Jamie Boyd Basketball
2011 Karina Garlington Volleyball
2012 Rebeka Stowe Cross Country/Track & Field
2013 Maggie Hull Softball
2014 Alex Jones Softball
2015 Claudijah Lever Rowing
2016 Yupaporn Kawinpakorn Golf
2017 Tayler Soucie Volleyball

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