BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – UT Martin senior guard Heather Butler has been selected as the Ohio Valley Conference Female Athlete of the Year for 2013-14 in voting by the league’s athletics directors and sports information directors. Additionally, Butler was named the Tennessee Sports Writer's Association Women's Basketball Player of the Year.
Butler will receive her award at the League’s annual Honors Brunch on May 30 in Nashville. The Male Athlete of the Year (Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo) was announced on Monday.
Butler, who is currently playing with the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars, broke the OVC’s all-time scoring record this season in finishing her career with 2,865 career points, which ranks 16th in NCAA women’s basketball history.
Named the OVC Player of the Year, Butler earned first-team All-OVC honors for the fourth-straight season in leading the Skyhawks to a school-record 24 victories, the OVC regular season title, its fourth-straight OVC Tournament Championship and its fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
During the season she averaged 23.6 points per game which ranked ninth nationally. She scored in double figures in all 129 games of her career, marking the second-longest streak in NCAA history. She also made 392 career 3-pointers, tying the NCAA all-time record. She scored 44 points in a game this season to tie the UTM single-game record; during the season she also set Skyhawk records for 3-point field goals made in a game (9), career field goals made (958), career field goals attempted (2,417), career 3-pointers made (392) and career 3-pointers attempted (1,074).
Butler was one of five finalists nationally for the Nancy Lieberman Award and was named OVC Player of the Week a league-best five times during the season. She was also a Senior CLASS Award first-team All-American selection, a CoSIDA Academic All-American, an OVC Scholar-Athlete and a nominee for the AllState WBCA Good Works Team.
Other nominees for the award included Austin Peay senior forward Tatiana Ariza, Belmont senior middle blocker Allison McCoy, Eastern Illinois volleyball/softball player Reynae Hutchinson, Eastern Kentucky junior pitcher Leanna Pittsenbarger, Jacksonville State senior pitcher Tiffany Harbin, Morehead State senior defensive specialist Leslie Schellhaas, Murray State senior golfer Delaney Howson, Southeast Missouri senior goalkeeper Ashton Aubuchon, SIUE senior track and field athlete Jatavia Wright, Tennessee State sophomore track athlete Clairwin Dameus and Tennessee Tech senior guard Diamond Henderson.
The OVC first awarded a Female Athlete of the Year in 1981.