WIN for Southern Illinois

2014 WIN Award Winners

The 2014 WIN Awards were presented by Dr. Bobbi Knapp (WIN co-founder and current president) and Greg Scott (WIN advisory board member) at the March 6th Celebrate Women event on the SIUC campus as part of Women’s History Month.  WIN for Southern Illinois was a co-sponsor of this year’s luncheon.  This year’s award winners include Kay Brechtelsbauer – Pioneer Award, Julee Illner – Mentor Award, Brittney Pritchett – Courage Award, and Shawn Rennegarbe – Outstanding Female High School Athlete Award.

The Pioneer Award is given to a Southern Illinois woman who has dedicated much of her life towards advancing opportunities for girls and women in sport and/or physical activity.  Such contributions may have been paid or voluntary and could include such roles as coach, administrator, athlete, trainer, journalist, educator, official, or supporter of women’s sport and physical activity.  This year’s Pioneer Award winner is Kay Brechtelsbauer.  Coach B, as many people know her as, is the former Saluki head softball coach and was a professor in the Department of Physical Education (now the Department of Kinesiology).  Before her retirement in 1999 she had the longest tenure of an active head softball coach at any NCAA school with 32 years. She became the 25th softball coach in NCAA history to register 600 career wins, and in her honor Southern Illinois has hosted the Kay Brechtelsbauer Southern Classic since 2002.

The Mentor Award is given to a member of the Southern Illinois community who has demonstrated a deep commitment to fostering a successful attitude/ability to girls/women in sport or physical activity through advising, teaching, encouraging, and supporting such efforts. This year’s Mentor Award winner is Julee Illner. Julee Illner is the former Saluki head field hockey coach and taught in the Department of Physical Education (now the Department of Kinesiology). She served as a role model and provided guidance for generations of future coaches and PE teachers through her 20 years as the field hockey coach, 30 years teaching in the Department of Physical Education, and over 50 years of teaching swimming lessons.  Julee was unable to attend the event, so Kathy Jones accepted the award in her honor.

The Courage Award is given to a Southern Illinois female athlete who exhibits extraordinary courage in her athletic performance, demonstrates the ability to
overcome adversity, and serves as an inspiration and role model to those who face challenges, overcomes them and strives for success at all levels.  This year’s Courage Award winner is Brittney Pritchett.  Brittney is a three-letter athlete for Goreville High School, playing for their softball, basketball and golf teams.  During the 2013 high school softball season, Brittney sustained a torn ACL during a softball game.  In a small high school where 10% of the school’s enrollment plays on the softball team, every player counts, and she did not want to let her teammates down. So Britney told her coach she wanted to keep playing and asked the coach to move her to a position on the infield where she didn’t have to do as much running as she did in her outfield position. Playing her heart out on her torn ACL, Brittney helped lead her Goreville team to a third place finish in the 2013 IHSA State Softball Tournament.

The final award presented was the Outstanding Female High School Athlete Award.  This award is given to a Southern Illinois female high school athlete who excels in the classroom and on the sports’ field/court as well as demonstrates an outstanding spirit through involvement in her school/community and in her demonstration of sportswomanship.  This year’s Outstanding Female High School Athlete Award winner is Shawn Rennegarbe.  Shawn has won a state championship in two sports during her tenure with the Nashville Community High School’s basketball and golf teams.  Her athletic accomplishments are impressive and include GOLF Southern Illinois Female Golfer of the Year, 2011- 2013 All-State Golf Team, 2013 American Jr. Golf Association (AJGA) Wyndham Cup Team, 2013 AJGA Rolex Top 10 Finish, 2013 AJGA Tournament Champion, and 2011- 2013 USGA Jr. Amateur, Women’s Amateur, Pub Links Qualifier.  Shawn Rennegarbe’s performance in the classroom is equally impressive as she has been named to the American Junior Golf
Association’s HP Scholastic All- American, 2013 AJGA HP Scholastic Honor Roll, 2012 Illinois State Scholar, and 2012- 2014 High Honor Roll.  Furthermore, Shawn is a member of her school’s National Honor Society and the #1 student in her graduating classShawn signed a National Letter of Intent to play college golf at the University of Arkansas – the University of Arkansas is currently ranked # 9 in the nation.

Thank you to everyone who put forth nominations for this year’s awards.

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