Feb. 26, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced on Tuesday a list of 50 student-athletes who have been selected for the Weaver-James-Corrigan Award. Among the scholarship recipients are two from Florida State including Thomas Neubacher (diving) and Kelly Hensley (softball).
The Weaver-James-Corrigan and Jim and Pat Thacker scholarships are awarded to selected student-athletes, who intend to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergraduate requirements. Each recipient will receive $5,000 toward his or her graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
Kelly Hensley; Florida State; Exercise Science; Softball; Niceville, Fla.
Kelly Hensley finished the 2013 softball season with a .315 average, 33 walks, 13 home runs and 54 RBI. Her 13 home runs and 54 RBI each ranked third-best for a single season in program history. In 2013 she was named FSU’s first-ever ACC Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was a Third Team Capital One Academic All-American. Hensley was sworn in and commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army as part of a scholarship to the Florida State College of Medicine. She will be on active duty following medical school with hopes of achieving an orthopedic surgery residency.
“I am very proud of Kelly,” head softball coach Lonni Alameda said. “She has worked very hard to balance her school work, athletics and staying driven to what she wants to do. The ACC Postgraduate Scholarship really gives her the chance financially to pursue her dreams. She is not only a quality student-athlete for Florida State but a great role model for our team, too. I am really excited about this opportunity for her.”
Tom Neubacher; Florida State; Men’s Diving; Sport Management; Windermere, Fla.
An All-American in 2013, Tom Neubacher finished his ACC career by contesting in 12-of-12 `A’ finals at the ACC Championships, taking back-to-back All-ACC honors on 1-meter by capturing bronze in 2012 and 2013. He is a two-time NCAA qualifier, capturing All-America accolades in 2013 with a seventh place finish on 1-meter before earning an honorable mention on platform with a 13th place showing. With his seventh place finish, he became just the sixth Seminole to accomplish the feat on the 1-meter board in school history. Neubacher was the Golden Torch winner – an award given to the athlete with the highest GPA on the team in 2013.
“Tom is a picture of a student-athlete,” head diving coach Patrick Jeffrey said. “He is such a competitor both in and out of the pool and he is very deserving of this honor. He sets such a great example for our team and he will truly be missed next season. With this scholarship, Tom will look to carry on his education with hopes of finding a fantastic career. I am incredibly proud to be his coach.”
The Weaver-James-Corrigan Award is named in honor of the late Jim Weaver and Bob James, as well as Gene Corrigan, the first three ACC commissioners. The league’s first commissioner, James H. Weaver, served the conference from 1954-70 after a stint as the Director of Athletics at Wake Forest University. His early leadership and uncompromising integrity are largely responsible for the excellent reputation enjoyed by the ACC today.
Robert C. James, a former University of Maryland football player, was named commissioner in 1971 and served in that capacity for 16 years. During his tenure, the league continued to grow in stature and became recognized as a national leader in athletics and academics, winning 23 national championships and maintaining standards of excellence in the classroom.
Eugene F. Corrigan assumed his role as the third full-time commissioner on September 1, 1987, and served until August of 1997. During Corrigan’s tenure, ACC schools captured 30 NCAA championships and two national football titles.
Prior to 1994, the Weaver-James postgraduate scholarships were given as separate honors. The Jim Weaver Award, which originated in 1970, recognized exceptional achievement on the playing field and in the classroom, while the Bob James Award, established in 1987, also honored outstanding student-athletes.
Since the award was joined in 1994, Florida State has earned 43 scholarships, including the nods from Neubacher and Hensley.