June 25, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS - Jacki Fletcher, a recent UIC graduate and member of the Flames softball team, has been named the female recipient of the 2013-14 Cecil N. Coleman Medal of Honor, the Horizon League announced on Wednesday. The award is considered to be the highest individual honor in the conference.
The Coleman Medal of Honor is presented annually to the League's top male and female student-athletes who best exemplify the dignity and high purpose of the League and its membership. The individuals demonstrate outstanding achievement in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities. Candidates must be seniors who have exhausted their eligibility and were participants on the varsity level in a League-sponsored sport. In addition, nominees must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale, or its equivalent.
"I feel extremely blessed to receive such a prestigious award from the Horizon League," Fletcher said. "Being a member of the UIC softball team and the UIC Kinesiology department provided me with endless opportunities over the past four years and I am very thankful for that. I am also very privileged to have parents who instilled a hardworking mentality in me. I truly could not have accomplished anything without them."
A member of the 2014 All-Horizon League First Team and 2014 National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Great Lakes Region Second Team, Fletcher played in 163 total games during her career and started every contest as a sophomore and junior en route to producing 141 hits in 452 at-bats for an overall .312 batting average.
Fletcher had the best season of her career as a senior while maintaining one of the top three batting averages for UIC and closing out the season with a .362 average, fifth-best in the Horizon League. She additionally earned the Horizon League Scholar-Athlete of the Month honor for February 2014 after hitting .514 (19-for-37) in 13 starts with seven multi-hit games and at least one hit in 11 of the 13 contests.
Fletcher did not only excel on the field, but also in the classroom, earning her a spot on the coveted 2014 Capital One Academic All-America First Team in addition to the 2013 and 2014 Capital One Academic All-District 5 First Team. She was a three-time UIC Female Student-Athlete of the Year, member of the Golden Key International Society and on the Dean's List all four years. Fletcher maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA while enrolled in the Honors College and graduated in May 2014 with a degree in Kinesiology.
Away from athletics and academics, Fletcher served as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, who over the past year has organized a blood drive, worked with Special Olympics, donated to Operation Care Package and bought Christmas gifts for the less fortunate. She also assisted in coordinating the UIC Softball FLAMEingo Drive, while taking part in team projects and serving as a tutor in the Port Academic Center.
"It is such a tremendous honor for Jacki to receive this distinguished award," said head softball coach Michelle Venturella. "It is wonderful to see someone who is so successful in all that she does but remains humble with all of her accomplishments. We are so proud of Jacki for this honor but even more proud for the person that she is."
Fletcher is the fourth student-athlete from UIC to receive the award and the second consecutive after Coryn Schmit collected the 2012-13 accolade.