STORRS, Conn. – Recent UConn women’s tennis graduate Shea Flanagan (Overland Park, Kans.) has been nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. Flanagan is one of UConn’s two nominees, joining field hockey’s Anna Middendorf, a native of Bremen, Germany, up for the annual award. In addition, Flanagan is nominated for an NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship.
“I am incredibly honored to be nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship,” said Flanagan. Balancing the demands of being a college athlete with honors coursework, volunteering, and SAAC allowed me to get the most out of my time at UConn while using my platform to make a difference.”
The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. Flanagan is one of several female college athletes from all over the country in the award pool, which is trimmed to 10 Division I student-athletes in early September. Later in the month, three student-athletes are selected as finalists.
“I am so proud of Shea for being nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year and for an NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship,” stated head tennis coach Glenn Marshall. “She made outstanding contributions to our tennis program the past four years, but that won't be her only legacy here at UConn. She was involved in so many outreach and leadership positions, including being president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. I know she will go on to do great things in law school and beyond. It was truly a pleasure having her these past four years.”
Flanagan, who graduate this past May with a degree in Political Science, was the recipient of the UConn Club Outstanding Senior Scholar-Athlete Award. An UConn Dean’s List student-athlete for seven semesters, she was the winner of the American Athletic Conference’s Institutional Scholar-Athlete Postgraduate Scholarship. She was also named to the AAC All-Academic Team and an ITA Scholar-Athlete in each of her seasons in Storrs.
She served as the President of the UConn Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) during her senior year. Flanagan sat on the UConn SAAC Executive Board and was Community Outreach Coordinator during her junior and senior years as well as serving as UConn’s representative at the AAC SAAC during that time. In 2016, she took part in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum. During all four of her years, she worked with UConn Reach and Goal Line Student-Athlete mentorship and this past spring, along with her teammates, worked with TEAM IMPACT.
“Being a member of the UConn women’s tennis team for four years challenged me to better myself every day and be a reliable teammate on and off the court,” commented Flanagan. “My experiences advocating for UConn student-athletes in SAAC and volunteering in the local community allowed me to develop a passion to use my knowledge and skills to give back.
On the tennis court, Flanagan was named a co-captain for the 2016-17 season. She finished her career with 70 singles victories and a 70-42 career record. She posted back-to-back 20-plus win seasons as a sophomore (22-9) and junior (21-9). In singles tournament play, Flanagan posted a 26-9 record during her career and captured tournament titles at the Quinnipiac Invitational twice and won at the Wake Forest Invitational as well. In doubles play, she posted 51 career wins.
“The characteristics I gained from intercollegiate athletics will continue to be ingrained in me in law school and beyond, and I am very grateful for my coaches, professors, and mentors who helped me along the way.”
The 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced on Sunday, Oct. 22 at the awards dinner in Indianapolis, Ind. She could join Rebecca Lobo (1995 recipient) as the only other former UConn student-athlete to win the NCAA Woman of the Year award, since the honor began in 1991.