GORHAM, Maine – University of Southern Maine Huskies' women's basketball captain Kimberly Howrigan has been nominated to receive the NCAA's prestigious Woman of the Year award. Howrigan is one of a record 585 nominees from across the NCAA's three divisions. Nominees from each institution excel in the four pillars of the Woman of the Year award program: academics, athletics, service and leadership. One hundred ninety-two nominees are from the NCAA Division III ranks. To be eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport, completed their eligibility in her sport and have earned her undergraduate degree by summer of 2019. Eligible student-athletes are nominated by their member school, whose corresponding conference office reviews nominations and submits nominees to the NCAA. By the numbers, the field of 585 is the largest in the program's history, and the average GPA of a nominee is 3.71.
"Kim is one of the finest student-athletes to ever don the University of Southern Maine colors," noted USM Director of Athletics Al Bean. "She is exceptional in every way and has been an outstanding representative for the University. Kim is a leader in the classroom, on the court and in the community. She is a shining example of our goals when we talk about the well-rounded student-athlete. I am very proud of Kim and what she has accomplished at USM and she is deserving to be alongside the nation's very best and brightest in this nomination."
Captain of the Huskies' women's basketball team, Howrigan has played a significant role for USM basketball since her rookie campaign in 2015-2016, evolving into a two-year starter and on-the-court leader. In addition to her athletic contributions and team leadership, Howrigan has been a leader on and off campus, earning significant University and national recognition for her community service related endeavors. A four-year member of the USM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Howrigan served as the group's vice president as a junior and as its president as a senior. With Howrigan's guidance, USM's SAAC increased the depth and breadth of its reach in its service-to-community efforts.
Named co-winner of the 2019 Paula D. Hodgdon Leadership Award during the athletics' department year-end honors banquet, presented annually to the female student-athlete who exemplifies the qualities of the former USM Field Hockey Coach/faculty member and administrator: athletic achievement, loyalty, leadership, dedication and commitment, Howrigan has also been twice honored by the University of Southern Maine for her leadership roles on campus. At the 2018 USM Student Leadership Awards Gala, Howrigan was presented with the Outstanding Community Service award, and at the 2019 edition of the University's year-end awards program, Howrigan was selected as the 2019 USM Student Leader of the Year: an honor given to a student who has demonstrated leadership during his or her time at USM, been involved in campus and in the community, showed a commitment to academic success, served as a role model to their peers, practiced ethical leadership and fostered inclusion and diversity.
Howrigan's numerous leadership awards are in no doubt in part due to her work with USM SAAC and helping establish and grow its award-winning community service programs, including the Huskies' Unified Sports Program – a partnership with Maine Special Olympics and USM student-athletes that includes athletic and social events held on a weekly basis. In its fourth year as a program, the Huskies' Unified Sports Program has grown in participation and activities and was consequently honored by the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) with its top honor for Community Service.
Having earned her degree in Accounting and Finance with a minor in Leadership this May, Howrigan graduated with honors from the University with an outstanding 3.81 grade point average, Howrigan is a four-time recipient William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete and three-time Little East Conference All-Academic Team selection. During her time as an undergraduate student, Howrigan successfully completed an internship with MacPage, LLC – one of the largest accounting firms in New England and a top 20 firm in the United States. Howrigan has chosen to further her education and the University of Southern Maine, and will pursue her Master's degree in the Fall, while working full-time.
Kim Howrigan '19 was one of 10 featured graduates for the 2019 University of Southern Maine Commencement
"Kim was recruited to help reshape the future of USM women's basketball," said fourth-year head coach Samantha Allen. "Gaining a student-athlete like Kim elevated every aspect of our approach to developing players academically, athletically and personally. Kim rose to that challenge and from day one dedicated herself to achieving her full potential through well-rounded academic, athletic and professional pursuits. In terms of achievement and representing the ideals of NCAA Woman of the Year, Kim is among the best."
Playing in 106 career games for the Huskies, Howrigan finished her career with 572 points, 351 rebounds, 66 assists, 49 steals and 32 blocked shots. As a senior, Howrigan had her best season in a USM uniform, averaging 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. She scored in double-digits in 11 games, and set a career-high 20 points, shooting 7-for-12 from the field (including 4-for-6 from three) in a 65-55 conference win over Castleton University.