Revelle Earns Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award

By NU Athletic Communications
Rhonda Revelle (right) is the 2007 recipient of the Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award, named in honor of Hibner (left).
Rhonda Revelle (right) is the 2007 recipient of the Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award, named in honor of Hibner (left).
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Nebraska Senior Woman Administrator and Head Softball Coach Rhonda Revelle has been selected as the recipient of the 2007-08 Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award.


The award began in 2000 to honor outstanding support and generous contributions to women’s athletics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was renamed last month in honor of Dr. Barbara Hibner, who was a valuable member of the Husker Athletic Department for 28 years before passing away on March 7, 2007.


“Rhonda is a most deserving winner of this prestigious award,” NU Athletic Director Steve Pederson said. “Not only has she achieved in her own athletic career, but now as both a coach and an administrator she is setting new standards of excellence. We are proud to add her name to the list of notable Nebraskans.


It is fitting that Revelle will receive the first award named in Hibner’s honor, as Hibner was an especially important figure to Revelle.


“To receive the Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award is extremely emotional as Dr. Hibner was my role model, my compass, my mentor and my dear friend,” Revelle said. “It is tremendously humbling, and I will strive to bring honor to her spirit and memory.”


Revelle will be presented with the award on Sunday, April 15, prior to leading her Husker softball team in a Noon game against the Texas Longhorns.


A native of Eugene, Ore., Revelle is in her 15th season as Head Softball Coach and in her second year as Senior Woman Administrator. Revelle was a pitcher for the Huskers from 1981 to 1983 and helped lead NU to the inaugural Women’s College World Series in 1982.


She graduated from Nebraska with degrees in physical education and health in 1984. Before returning to Lincoln to become head coach of her alma mater in 1993, Revelle spent four years as an assistant coach at San Jose State University in California, where she earned a master’s degree in human performance with an emphasis in sports management.


While at San Jose State, Revelle helped the Spartans to three consecutive top-20 finishes and two postseason appearances, while serving as pitching coach, recruiting coordinator and camps and clinics director.


Revelle has rejuvenated the Husker softball program and returned it to one of the premiere programs in the country. With Revelle at the helm, Nebraska is one of only nine teams in the nation to make 12 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and one of only six teams to earn a final top-25 ranking in each of the 12 years the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll has been in existence.


Revelle has guided NU to a pair of berths in the Women’s College World Series, while guiding the Huskers to the 1,000th win in school history, making softball the first women’s sport at Nebraska to reach the 1,000-win plateau.


In the process, Revelle became the first female coach in Nebraska history to record 500 career victories and 500 wins at Nebraska. She currently ranks as the third-winningest coach in NU history across all sports.


Revelle’s impact on softball and in women’s athletics is not limited to Nebraska. Revelle is the only coach in the Big 12 Conference with a dual administrative and coaching role, while she also serves as president of the National Fastpitch Association.


A two-time Big 12 Coach of the Year, Revelle’s impact can be felt off the field as well. Revelle has played an integral role in establishing two fully endowed scholarships for Husker softball that stand as the only two fully endowed scholarships for a female student-athlete at Nebraska.


Revelle has also produced eight CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, as NU leads all softball programs with 24 all-time academic All-Americans.


Off the field, Revelle has been an active member of the community. In 2006, she served as chairperson of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night campaign. That same year she was also chairperson for the Downtown YMCA Strong Kids campaign.


In 2004, Revelle headlined the most successful United Way Combined Campaign at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A selfless promoter of the YMCA and its goals, Revelle has served on several YMCA campaigns and was named the 2003 Downtown YMCA Co-Volunteer of the Year.


Revelle has also been honored by her alma mater, as she is a member of the University of Nebraska Cather Circle and was a 2001 UNL “Emerging Leaders” Instructor.


Revelle is the seventh winner of the Trailblazer Award. Past winners, in addition to Hibner, include the Raimondi family in 2001-02, Ione Bowlin in 2002-03, Betty Geis in 2003-04, Carol Frost in 2004-05, Pinnacle Sports Productions in 2005-06 and Dr. Joanne Owens Nauslar in 2006-07.

In addition to the Trailblazer Award being renamed in her honor, the Dr. Barbara Hibner Scholarship Fund for Nebraska Athletics has also been established. Funds donated will provide a scholarship for the Nebraska Female Student-Athlete of the Year. The scholarship will be presented annually at the Academic Awards Recognition Banquet. This year’s banquet is scheduled for Sunday, April 15.

Please make checks payable to the University of Nebraska Foundation and send to the University of Nebraska Athletic Development Office, One Memorial Stadium, P.O. Box 880154, Lincoln, NE  68588-0154.


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