March 21, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois volleyball senior Kristin Hoffman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) is one of 58 student-athletes for the 2011 fall season to receive an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. The standout setter recently finished a noteworthy four-year career with the Huskie volleyball program.
"What Kristin has accomplished at Northern Illinois is simply outstanding," said NIU Associate V.P./Director of Athletics Jeff Compher. "This honor is a testament to how hard she works, as well as the athletic and academic abilities that made her an All-American both on and off the court. We congratulate Kristin on this award and her incredible career, and wish her the best as she pursues her law degree."
"Such a small, selective group received this," said Hoffman. "I'm shocked and grateful that I received it. I really have to thank Dr. [Matthew] Streb because I didn't even know about the scholarship. He helped me with the nomination process. It's crazy. I'm just very thankful."
Closing out her Huskie student-athlete career, Hoffman adds yet another impressive accomplishment to an already robust résumé. She was the first NIU volleyball player to be named an Academic All-American, and she did it twice (2010, 2011), along with being named an honorable mention American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American in 2011. She was also the first to be named Mid-American Conference Setter of the Year (2011). Additionally, along with classmate Allison McGlaughlin (Morton, Ill./Morton), she was the first in program history to be named to the Academic All-MAC Team in all three years of eligibility.
Now, she steps into even more elite company as an NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipient. Hoffman joins the likes of NIU Hall of Famers T.J. Lux (2000, men's basketball), Tim Dillon (1984, men's basketball) and Doug Kieso (1984, men's gymnastics).
"I think it's an amazing, incredible honor for Kristin," said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. "It helps put a stamp on the great career Kristin has had here at Northern Illinois not only as an athlete, but as a student as well. Anytime our student-athletes go through the four-year cycle it's something special. To do it at the level she's done puts her in a special class not only for Huskie volleyball, but for Huskie student-athletes."
A history major with a 3.97 GPA, Hoffman captained the 2011 Huskies to their first NCAA Tournament appearance and MAC regular season title since 2001. She was the NCAA statistical champion in assists (12.27/set) as she earned a First Team All-MAC selection for the second-straight season. Under Hoffman's guidance, NIU as a team was also the statistical champion in assists (13.99/set) and kills (15.02/set), and ranked seventh in the NCAA in hitting percentage (.279).
During her final campaign, Hoffman became the third player in Huskie history to accumulate over 4,000 career assists. She ended the season with a career high in assists (1,522), and tied her career highs in aces (28) and digs (260).
Hoffman wraps up her playing career at NIU ranking second in assists (4,392) and 19th in digs (796).
Next up for the Batavia, Ill., native is law school at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind. next fall. Hoffman has already been accepted into the program and signed an apartment lease, which has been part of her plan all along. She's been planning to go to law school since high school.
"The scholarship itself will help tremendously for law school in the fall," Hoffman said. "This fall was just a great ending to my career here. I'm looking forward to law school. Getting into law school and choosing a school to go to has been exciting and nerve-racking.
"Receiving this scholarship is a testament to where NIU is going and how we are being recognized nationally. There is definitely potential for future athletes at NIU to receive this. I'm just grateful to be a part of the NIU athletics family."
The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.
The one-time grants of $7,500 each are awarded for fall sports, winter sports and spring sports. Each sports season (fall, winter and spring), there are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 for women. The scholarships are one-time, non-renewable grants.
The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the Association's most accomplished student-athletes through their participation in NCAA championship and/or emerging sports. Athletics and academic achievements, as well as campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership, are evaluated.
An equitable approach is employed in reviewing each applicant's nomination form to provide opportunity to all student-athlete nominees to receive the postgraduate award, regardless of sport, division, gender or race. In maintaining the highest broad-based standards in the selection process, the program aims to reward those individuals whose dedication and effort are reflective of those characteristics necessary to succeed and thrive through postgraduate study in an accredited graduate degree program.