Former University of North Dakota softball and hockey standout Casie Hanson has been named a 2011 recipient of the prestigious NCAA Top VIII Award, presented annually to eight outstanding student-athletes who have completed their eligibility.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic, academic, community service, and leadership accomplishments. Recipients are selected by the NCAA Honors Committee, made up of eight athletics administrators at member institutions, in addition to nationally distinguished citizens who are former student-athletes.
Hanson played hockey at UND from 2005-09 and softball from 2006-10. A native of St. Peter, Minn., Hanson led the Fighting Sioux softball team to a Great West Conference (GWC) championship in 2010 and was named GWC Player of the Year and the GWC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Hanson, who received her degree in community nutrition, also earned her third ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America honor and was named the GWC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
A two-time Division II softball All-American, Hanson graduated as the program’s all-time leader in batting average (.452), hits (278), home runs (32) and runs scored (133).
During her four years on the Sioux hockey team, Hanson was a three-time Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Scholar-Athlete and WCHA All-Academic Team selection. She won the team’s Academic Award in each of her four seasons and was named an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District honoree as a senior. In 2007-08, Hanson was named WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year.
Hanson, who is a currently a graduate assistant coach with the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team, will be honored along with the other NCAA Top VIII Award recipients at the 2011 NCAA Honors Celebration, set for Jan. 14, 2011 in San Antonio.
Previous notable NCAA Top VIII Award recipients include Tiki Barber, Drew Brees, John Elway, Doug Flutie, Rebecca Lobo, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Cheryl Miller, Tim Tebow and Steve Young.
Note: Hanson’s first name is pronounced “Casey.”