Gates Earns Award From NCAA

Taylor Gates, a four-year letter winner for the Arkansas Tech softball program, has received an NCAA Division II Degree Completion Award for the 2010-11 academic year.

Gates is the only student-athlete from the Gulf South Conference and one of just 89 nationwide to receive the award for the forthcoming school year.

The program was initiated by the NCAA in 2001 as a way of providing outstanding student-athletes with financial assistance in completing their first baccalaureate degree.

To date, the NCAA has invested more than $2 million in the program.

According to the NCAA, 93 percent of student-athletes who receive the award complete their bachelor’s degree.

Gates helped the Golden Suns win back-to-back GSC West Division softball championships in 2008 and 2009. Arkansas Tech won a total of 117 games during Gates’ four years with the program.

A native of Paris, Texas, Gates appeared in 188 games and started 176 for the Golden Suns. She had 94 career hits, eight career home runs, 53 career runs batted in and 53 career runs scored.

A former secretary of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Gates has also been active in the Chamber Choir, the Spanish Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

She earned the B.J. Burton Memorial Scholarship, a Paris (Texas) Education Foundation Scholarship, an academic scholarship, a choir scholarship and a softball scholarship at Arkansas Tech.

Gates has earned a spot on the Arkansas Tech Dean’s List in multiple semesters.

She has also qualified for the GSC Academic Honor Roll in each of her four seasons at Tech and she was a member of the 2009 GSC All-Academic team.

Gates capped her athletic career at Arkansas Tech by earning the Outstanding Senior Female Student-Athlete Award at Tech for the 2009-10 academic year. Daughter of Tonya and Tim Gates, Gates is majoring in vocal music education and Spanish at Arkansas Tech.