Hoffman with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive
© RD Moore

Courtesy Alabama Athletics Communications

ATLANTA, Ga. – Kayla Hoffman, captain of Alabama’s 2011 NCAA Gymnastics Championship team, was honored as the Southeastern Conference Female Athlete of the Year during the SEC Legends Dinner Friday night in Atlanta.

Hoffman, who was also recently announced as a 2012 NCAA Today’s Top VIII award winner, was joined at the banquet by her coach, Sarah Patterson, Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore, Deputy Athletics Director Shane Lyons and Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator Marie Robbins.

Aca A When Kayla first came to Alabama she was a young girl,Aca A Patterson said. Aca A Watching her up on that podium tonight as she addressed the leaders of this conference, I was filled with such amazing pride at the strong, confident, accomplished woman she has become.Aca A

The Union, N.J., native is the sixth Alabama athlete and fifth UA gymnast to be named SEC Female Athlete of the Year, joining gymnasts Penney Hauschild (1985), Dee Foster (1990), AndreA A(C) Pickens (2002), Jeana Rice (2004) and track star Lillie Leatherwood (1987). Alabama’s six honorees ties the Tide with Tennessee for the most in the SEC while the Tide gymnastics total of five is the most for a single program.

Hoffman earned the award after leading the Crimson Tide to the 2011 NCAA, NCAA Regional and Southeastern Conference Championships, giving Alabama its first "triple crown" since 1988. She was honored with the Honda Award, given annually to the nation’s top gymnast, in April.

"I cannot emphasize enough that this moment isn’t mine alone," Hoffman said during her acceptance speech. "It also belongs to each of my teammates; I am here because of them. Together, through the tears and the victories, the toughest practices and the brightest times in the spotlight, we became champions. I share this moment with all of them."

Hoffman, who was named the 2011 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year, clinched the Tide’s fifth NCAA Championship in mid-April with a 9.95 on the floor exercise and was the NCAA runner-up in the all-around and balance beam. She earned All-American accolades in the all-around, vault and balance beam this season, finishing her career with five first-team honors.

As senior, Hoffman became the first in league history to win both SEC Gymnast of the Year and the SEC Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors in the same season after clinching Alabama’s 2011 SEC title by winning the vault with a 9.95. She also earned NCAA and SEC Postgraduate Scholarships and carries a career 4.0 grade point average in human development and family studies.