INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Saint Leo University women's soccer assistant coach and former standout Ginger Davenport has been announced as one of the 130 conference and independent nominees for the18th annual NCAA Woman of the Year award.  The nominees represent all three divisions and have excelled in academics, athletics, leadership and community service.

Davenport was a four-year starter for the Lions and, during her time at Saint Leo (2004-07), helped the program rocket to the top of the Sunshine State Conference and gain national prominence.  She started all 20 games her senior season (2007), helped the team to a 15-5 record overall and a second-place finish in the Sunshine State Conference with a 6-2 record. The Lions also qualified for the NCAA post-season tournament in ’06 and ‘07.

“We are very proud of Ginger and think she is the perfect model of what a Division II student-athlete represents,” Saint Leo University Director of Athletics Francis X. Reidy said.  “She is well balanced in all that see does and is most deserving of this recognition.  We are honored that she spent her collegiate career as a Lion and then decided to stay with us by undertaking the coaching role.”

The native of Bradenton, Fla. was named assistant women’s soccer coach during the summer and has joined Head Coach Ged O’Connor’s staff where she will continue to mentor her former teammates as well as the newcomers.

“Ginger was a standout defender, whose tenacity and work ethic were unquestioned,” said O’Connor. “She led the team both on and off the soccer field during her four years on the pitch.  Ginger has been a tremendous addition to my coaching staff and is the ideal link to the players for the coaches. She is well-respected by both the women’s soccer program and the Saint Leo Department of Athletics as a whole.  She is more than deserving of the national recognition this award brings with it."

She is a double major in Criminal Justice and Social Work and has been on the Dean’s List throughout her academic career at Saint Leo while also serving as President of the Saint Leo Student Athlete Advisory Committee and other various groups on campus.  Davenport was named All-Sunshine State Conference as a senior and also a Daktronics Second Team All-South Region selection in 2007.

Davenport was also selected as a recipient of the NCAA Division II Degree Completion Award in June of this year. The NCAA Division II Degree Completion Award Committee selected recipients for the 2008-09 awards from a pool of 182 applicants. The committee awarded 86 Division II applicants from 63 different Division II institutions.

Honorees in the top 10 per division will be announced later this month followed by the selection of the top three honorees per division. The Woman of the Year will be announced at an awards dinner in Indianapolis on October 19.

Selections are based on academic achievement, service and leadership activities, athletics excellence, and a personal statement describing benefits she has gained from her experience as a student-athlete. 

To be eligible for this honor, female student-athlete must have earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport and competed during the 2007-08 academic year. Each individual must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2008 spring season and carry a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5.