Popov Wins Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award
April 24, 2014
USC senior Sophia Popov was named the Pac-12 Women's Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Conference office announced Thursday night (April 24) prior to the start of the Pac-12 Women's Golf Championships on Friday in Corvallis. The award was established to honor collegiate student-athletes who are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.
Popov, a communications major, holds a 3.53 cumulative GPA. She earned her second WGCA All-American and All-Pac-12 first team honors in 2013 after playing an integral role in USC's NCAA title run. Popov was named a WGCA All-American Scholar and received 2013 Pac-12 All-Academic second team honors. She is also active in her community, volunteering at USC's Swim with Mike and making annual visits to help at local elementary schools, helping to beautify campuses and mentor young students.
A Weingarten, Germany native, Popov is currently ranked in the top-20 in both the NCAA and the World Amateur Golf rankings. As a senior this year, she has five top-13 finishes and six in the top-17 in seven starts. She is USC's career leader in rounds in the 60s (21) and her five wins are tied for most in program history. Popov is a three-time All-American on track to become just USC's second four-time All-American.
"The Pac-12 Conference has great pride and respect for our rich history of academic and athletic excellence," said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. "We are proud of this year's group of student-athletes and their dedication to achieving success in sports and in the classroom."
In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50% of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a commit- tee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport's regular season. The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.
A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12's 22 sponsored sports: baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country, football, men's golf, women's golf, women's gymnastics, men's rowing, women's rowing, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball, men's swimming & diving, women's swimming & diving, men's tennis, women's tennis, men's track & field, women's track & field, women's volleyball, and wrestling.
The Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards were established during the 2007-08 academic year.
Other nominees included: Daniela Ordonez, ASU; Nicola Rossler, CAL; Jenny Coleman, COLO; Lauren Sewell, OSU; Ani Gulugian, UCLA; Mallory Kent,WSU.