University of Delaware senior Gina Knutson, an outfielder on the Blue Hen softball team, has been honored with the University of Delaware Dr. Myles Brand/Undergraduate Sport Management Award.
The award is given each year to a senior male and female sport management major who in and out of the classroom, potentially on the playing field, in the community and in their professional activities, displays the ideals championed by the NCAA in its core purpose - "To govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable, and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student is paramount."
The award is named in honor of Dr. Brand, the former NCAA President who passed away in 2009, and was created after he visited campus to speak to UD students and faculty during the fall 2005 semester.
“Gina is a true embodiment of the student-athlete and lives up to the high ideals of the NCAA on a daily basis,” said Dr. Matt Robinson, director of the UD sport management program. “It has been a pleasure having Gina as a student in the sport management program and we are proud of what she has accomplished as an athlete. Dr. Brand would be proud to know a person of Gina’s quality received the award.”
A member of the Sport Management Club, Knutson was named to the Dean’s List in the fall of 2012 and has participated in numerous community service activities. She volunteered as a mentor and counselor at Gilpin Manor Elementary School during the fall, and has been active with fundraising for the Pigskin Pass and Movember Movement for Men’s Cancer. Last year Knutson helped the softball squad win the Operation Blue Hen Team Award, while she was the individual female winner for the Operation Blue Hen Spirit Award as well.
As a football operations intern, Knutson was responsible for coordinating events and promoting community relations by setting up Monday night visits with youth groups, which included a highlight video, a facilities tour, and Q&A sessions with players and coaches. She also coordinated player appearances at the A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital and assisted UD Director of Football Operations Jerry Oravitz with the CAA Blood Drive.
"I am so proud of Gina, and am thrilled to learn she is receiving the UD Myles Brand Award,” Oravitz said. “For the past two years Gina has helped to plan, coordinate, and execute many of the behind-the-scenes details (team travel, summer camps, training camp, game day operations, etc.) necessary to operate an NCAA FCS program. Gina's passion, commitment, and selfless attitude for being of service to others reflect many of the important values that Myles Brand stood for.”
Knutson has been a four-year contributor on the Blue Hen softball team as a catcher and outfielder, and has helped lead the Blue Hens to the CAA Tournament during each of her final three seasons. She was a second team All-CAA selection as a sophomore, and currently ranks third in Delaware history with 14 career home runs.