Former Georgia volleyball star and current Emory head coach Jenny McDowell has been named the recipient of the 2016 Bill Hartman Award, an honor awarded each year to a former Georgia athlete who displayed excellence in their profession or service to other 20 or more years after graduation.
“I can’t begin to express my sincere gratitude for being selected for this prestigious award that is named after a man who had a deep love for the University of Georgia,” McDowell said. “Bill’s contributions and devotion to UGA are well documented and celebrated, as is the impact that he had on his country, community and business world. The life he lived embodies what it means to be a Bulldog, and to be included with a long line of distinguished UGA grads who have been recognized for this honor is certainly humbling and something that I will always treasure.”
McDowell played as a setter for the Bulldogs from 1985 until her graduation in 1989. In that span, she led Georgia to back-to-back conference titles in 1985 and 1986. She was named to the All-SEC team and was Georgia first-ever AVCA All-Southeast Region selection 1986 and was given the distinction again in 1987. She has the sixth-most assists ever for an SEC setter, and is the only Georgia volleyball player to have her jersey retired.
After graduating McDowell began her coaching career as a Georgia assistant and helped guide the team to five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. She was hired as head coach at Emory in 1996, where she has continued her tourney streak, never missing a D-III NCAA tournament in her 20 years as coach. Under her guidance, Emory won the 2008 NCAA Championship. She currently holds a 652-147 career record, which gives her the sixth-highest win percentage all-time among D-III coaches.
McDowell will be recognized for her accomplishment Nov. 26 at the Georgia Tech football game.
The Hartman Award has been presented since 1992. Past winners include quarterback Fran Tarkenton (1992), August National chairman Billy Payne (1992), former tennis coach Dan McGill (1994), Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards (2010), Georgia swimming coach Jack Bauerle (2011) and broadcaster Ernie Johnson Jr. (2015).