December 05, 2008

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(Cary, NC) – University of Notre Dame forward Kerri Hanks, one of the most productive collegiate soccer players of all-time who has been equally impactful off the field, has been selected as the 2008 recipient of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for women’s soccer. 

The award is presented to the outstanding NCAA® Division I senior student-athlete in nine sports, based on excellence in the classroom, character and community, as well as competition on the playing field.  Hanks was chosen from a list of ten finalists in the women’s soccer division by a nationwide vote of coaches, media and fans.

Lowe’s, an official corporate partner of the NCAA®, will present the trophy to Hanks today during the NCAA® Women’s College Cup® in Cary, NC.

“I am truly humbled and grateful to be chosen to receive the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award,” Hanks said.  “I’ve always been proud to call myself a student-athlete and take both sides of that term very seriously. I’ve been blessed to gain a wonderful education from an exceptional University, while at the same time being able to enjoy success on the field as well. This honor is something I share with everyone else in the Notre Dame women’s soccer program, from my teammates to my coaches and all of the Fighting Irish fans who have made my career at Notre Dame so memorable.”

Hanks is regarded by many soccer experts as the best player in Notre Dame history and one of the top collegiate women’s soccer players ever.  Her name is attached to 63 school and/or NCAA records.  She is the only player in NCAA® Division I history to amass 73 career goals and 73 career assists.  If chosen as an All-American this season, as expected, Hanks would become the 23rd player in women’s soccer history to be a four-time All-America honoree.

In the classroom, Hanks graduated a semester early from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.  She compiled a 3.12 cumulative grade point average and has begun graduate courses at Notre Dame this fall semester while competing on the soccer field.

Hanks has also been very active in the community, participating in numerous charity events and projects.  She visits local elementary schools and talks with the students about sportsmanship.  She also assists at youth soccer camps and clinics, parlaying her extensive soccer skills into helpful training for youth.

“Kerri exemplifies everything that this award stands for and I couldn’t be prouder that she has been selected as this year’s winner,” said Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum.  “Her accomplishments on the field have made her one of the greatest players in the history of the college game, while her achievements in the classroom and in our community make her, in my opinion, one of the greats in the game of life. It has been an honor and a privilege to be her coach for the past four years and I look forward to seeing her move on to even greater things in the months and years to come.”

“Lowe’s is extremely pleased to honor student-athletes who work hard to achieve goals in every aspect of life,” said Bob Gfeller, SVP of Marketing and Advertising at Lowe’s. “Kerri Hanks is not only a very talented soccer player, but understands the importance of a quality education and how to make an impact in other people’s lives through community service.”

The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award also names an All-Senior All-America Team based on voting results of the finalists.  Joining Hanks on the 2008 First Team are: Lizzie Barnes of the United States Naval Academy, Yael Averbuch of the University of North Carolina, Jenae Gibbens of California State University, Fullerton, and Brittany Bock of the University of Notre Dame. The Second Team consists of: Christie McDonald of Duke University,  Yolanda Odenyo of Oklahoma State University, Candace Gonzales of Georgia State University, Molly Johnson of Clemson University, and Stefanie Baduria of Loyola Marymount University.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has grown into the nation’s premier tribute to college seniors.  Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men’s basketball players leaving school early for the NBA.

Since that time, Lowe’s has expanded the Senior CLASS Award program to include a total of nine NCAA® Division I sports.  The winner in each sport is announced at the respective NCAA® Championship events.  Women’s soccer and men’s soccer were added in 2007, making Hanks the second award winner in her category.  Stephanie Lopez of Portland was the inaugural winner in the women’s soccer division.

“Recognizing the many achievements of student-athletes is a goal the NCAA proudly shares with our corporate partner Lowe’s,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA Senior Vice President Basketball and Business Strategies.  “The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award places a spotlight on the quality attributes of our future student-athlete graduates.  The NCAA is proud to honor student-athlete leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to excel on the field of competition while they earn their degrees. ”

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An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: classroom, community, character and competition.  The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards that a senior season can bring.  For more information, visit

With fiscal year 2007 sales of $48.3 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 company that serves approximately 14 million customers a week at more than 1,600 home improvement stores in the United States and Canada.  Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world.  For more information, visit

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities.  Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports.  Visit and for more details about the Association.

Melynda Stein
Premier Sports Management - Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award
7450 West 130th Street; Suite 360
Overland Park, KS 66213
Phone:  913-681-6990 x17
Fax:  913-681-8864
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Women’s Soccer 2008 Winner

Name Position School
Kerri Hanks Forward University of Notre Dame

First Team

Name Position School
Yael Averbuch Midfielder University of North Carolina
Lizzie Barnes Goalkeeper United States Naval Academy
Brittany Bock Forward/Midfielder University of Notre Dame
Jenae Gibbens Defender Cal State Fullerton

Second Team

Name Position School
Stefanie Baduria Midfielder Loyola Marymount University
Candace Gonzales Midfielder Georgia State
Molly Johnson Defender Clemson University
Christie McDonald Defender Duke University
Yolanda Odenyo Midfielder Oklahoma State University