Jennifer Rockwood receives her Coach of the Year Award at the Governor's State of Sport Awards on April 13. (Photo by Melissa Machjrzak)
PROVO, Utah – Jennifer Rockwood, Ashley Hatch and the late LaVell Edwards were recipients of the 2017 Governor's State of Sports Awards from the Utah Sports Commission on April 13 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
Edwards received the Legends Award, which was accepted by his wife, Patti. The legendary coach led the Cougars to 257 wins in 29 years and a national championship in 1984. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004. He passed away on Dec. 29, 2016.
Current BYU football coach Kalani Sitake, who played for Edwards, spoke at the event. He called his former coach a "great mentor."
"He was there for you when you needed him the most," Sitake said. "He had faith and believed in people more than they believed in themselves."
The inaugural award received by Edwards honors legendary figures in Utah sports history for their contributions to the sporting landscape and the community at large.
BYU women's soccer was honored twice, with Jennifer Rockwood being named Coach of the Year and Ashley Hatch receiving Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year.
Rockwood's team spent of 11 weeks ranked in the top 10 of the NSCAA poll and six weeks in the top 5. The Cougars won their fifth-straight West Coast Conference championship and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament. Rockwood became just the 12th NCAA Division I coach in history to win 350 career games.
Hatch scored 19 goals, which ranked third in the nation. She gave up the national goal lead only when she joined the full United States Women's National Team in the middle of the year and missed a pair of BYU games. She had hat tricks against No. 5 Penn State and San Francisco. Hatch became the fourth First Team All-American in program history.
BYU women's volleyball's Amy Boswell was also nominated for Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year and football's Jamaal Williams was a nominee for Collegiate Male Athlete of the Year.
Also honored were two incoming BYU cross country athletes. Casey Clinger, from American Fork High School, and Kate Hunter, from Provo High School, were named High School Male Athlete of the Year and High School Female Athlete of the Year, respectively.