The Murray State Women’s Center honored senior golfer Delaney Howson with the 2013-14 Margaret Simmons Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award.
The award is given to Murray State’s female student-athlete that best demonstrates the characteristics of former Murray State track and field coach Margaret Simmons, one that influences and inspires other student-athletes and one that represents the University.
Howson will add the honor to a list of accolades that make her one of the most decorated golfers in the program’s history.
The list includes the Ohio Valley All-Scholar Athlete award for 2012-13, three Academic Medal of Honors, OVC Freshman of the Year and First Team OVC All-Conference awards every year.
Howson also holds the course record at Frances E.Miller Memorial Golf Course in Murray and the lowest round in the program’s competitive tournament history.
Howson’s average stroke is 73.3, the lowest in the OVC, and she is a contender for the OVC Player of the Year award.
This season alone, Howson has helped the team win two tournaments and has had three individual titles.
During her career, she has been a part of nine regular season tournament titles, won five individual titles and has earned 18 top-five finishes.
In addition to Howson’s performance on the golf course, she has maintained a 4.0 for seven consecutive semesters in her academic courses.
Howson will graduate in May with a degree in finance.
Howson’s award is special both for Howson and for its namesake, Margaret Simmons, who know each other personally.
In addition to starting the women’s track program at Murray State before the creation of Title IX, Simmons has both taught and worked in athletic academics and compliance at Murray State, and has gotten to know Howson while she served as the running coach for the women’s golf team.
“(Howson is) really the epitome of a student-athlete,” Simmons said. “You can’t get any better than a 4.0. Well, I guess she could get a hole-in-one on every hole of the golf course.”
As team captain, Howson also leads her teammates, just as Simmons led the way for women’s athletics at Murray State, according to Head Coach Velvet Milkman.
“(Simmons is) the pioneer,” Milkman said. “Women’s athletics is where it is today because of people like Margaret Simmons, who were strong and who were pioneers for women’s athletics.”
Milkman said she wants freshmen to come in and use players like Howson as a role model.
“Just like the ones that have come before her, she’s raised the bar for our program,” Milkman said. “She leads by example. If they work as hard as she does in the classroom, then they have a chance to make all A’s.
“And if they leave it all out on the golf course like she does, they know they have a chance to win.”
Howson recognizes Simmons as a driving force in Murray State athletics, and said the award is more than just another accolade.
“I mean obviously it’s exciting to win it and be recognized and have my name underneath (Simmons’),” Howson said. “She’s just an awesome person. She makes you laugh, and puts things into perspective for everybody.”
Story by Mallory Tucker, Staff writer