Hillary Bach named Pac-12 Conference Woman of the Year

A freshman from the fall of 2008 who heard Pat Tillman's mom speak to Sun Devil freshman student-athletes at orientation weekend took what she said to heart.

Recent graduate and former Sun Devil softball student-athlete Hillary Bach was recognized as the Pac-12 Conference Woman of the Year as announced by conference officials, Aug. 6.

Bach (B.A., business marketing) heard Mary Tillman speak during her first weekend as a student-athlete on campus four years ago and was moved by the stories of Pat, who graduated in under four years. Bach said she would do the same, and racked up Academic All-American status, a three-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, and was three times named First Team Pac-12 All-Academic along the way. And yes, she graduated in less than four years.

"Hillary Bach has been an incredible inspiration and team member for a championship program the past four years," said Steve Patterson, vice president for University Athletics.

"Her appreciation of a former Sun Devil legacy from the day she first set foot on campus is a tribute to the incredible tradition we have at Sun Devil athletics, and one can be sure the next wave of Sun Devils will point towards Hillary as a role model of their own," Patterson added. "She has been the complete package at Arizona State as a top student, a champion athlete and a leader in community service. We look forward to her being an active Sun Devil alumni."

The former Tillman Scholar was one of 429 individuals who were nominated by member institutions for the national award of 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year. Winners of the Conference Woman of the Year award go on to be nominated for the national award, which marks the first time that an Arizona State student-athlete has earned the distinction since its inception in 2006.

On top of academics, Bach lived the Sun Devil Way as the President for the ASU Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). With that responsibility, she helped strengthen unity among student-athletes and members of the student body through education, awareness and communication. Something she was well accustomed to, as she spread her knowledge that she learned in 2010-11 as a Tillman Scholar - a program inspired to help students become more effective leaders through actions, values and thoughts.

Bach graduated with her undergraduate degree in business marketing in 2011, as a junior of the softball team. A winner of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship this July, she is currently working towards her masters of business administration.