COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Adding to a lengthy list of accolades throughout her career, sophomore Brynn Minor of Butler (KS) softball has been named the 2017 NJCAA Betty Jo Graber Female Student-Athlete of the Year announced by the NJCAA Executive Committee. Minor was an integral part of the Grizzlies' second consecutive national championship.
The Graber award is the first for a Butler athlete since the inception of the award in 1993. Minor was named the Dudley® NJCAA DI Softball Player of the Year as well as a NJCAA and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) First Team All-American, the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Most Valuable Player, and a NJCAA All-Tournament team selection.
"I'm at a loss for words," Minor exclaimed following the announcement of the award. "I cannot describe how grateful I am for the coaches at Butler and all of my teammates for the amount of success I have had, plus my family for the support. I owe it all to them."
In her final season at Butler, Minor led the NJCAA in extra base hits (57) and slugging percentage (1.158). Minor set a single-season school record with a .497 batting average and 30 home runs, including three in the national championship game, a tournament record. Along with her success at the plate, Minor starred in the circle for the Grizzlies, going 13-0 with a 1.07 earned run average on the year in 78.2 innings of work.
"The environment at Butler is something that I wish every girl could experience," Minor added, "because of their ability to make every girl love the game of softball. I truly believe that going to a junior college was the best decision I have ever made. It has made me appreciate the game so much more and ultimately grow as a player, to get stronger, and improve my game for the Division I level. The daily grind of junior college sports is something that I will remember for the rest of my life."
Butler head coach Doug Chance, who coached Minor to the two national titles, noted the versatile Minor's contributions to the program. "Brynn is an inspiration to everyone around her. Her work ethic and her leadership on and off the field will bring her success long after softball is over. I've never coached a player that had the ability to stay calm and stay within her approach through the most intense situations that Brynn does. Her quiet confidence affected everyone on the team in a positive way. Give me Brynn Minorevery year and I will compete for a national title every year."
Minor's final contribution to the NJCAA recently concluded at the 2017 Canada Cup in Surrey, British Columbia where she helped the NJCAA All Stars to a 6-6 record against some of the top competition from across the globe.
Minor recently committed to Kansas where she will compete for the Jayhawks in the Big 12 conference. Minor will enroll in the Exercise Science program with plans to study nutrition/dietetics post-graduate.
PAST BETTY JO GRABER AWARD WINNERS
About the NJCAA Betty Jo Graber Award
Betty Jo Graber spent 35 years advancing opportunities for women in NJCAA athletics. Along with a successful basketball coaching career at Weatherford College, she was also the Region 5 Women's Director, the NJCAA Women's Basketball Committee Chair and a founding member of the NJCAA Women's Division. Graber is a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Tennessee. Graber was the perfect model of hard work, discipline, ethics and excellence in community college athletics. This award is given annually to the NJCAA Student-Athlete that best exhibits these traits.