Nebraska’s Kate Smith captured honorable-mention All-America accolades from the Women’s Golf Coaches Association when the organization announced its annual awards on Friday, May 28.
Smith, a fifth-year senior from Detroit Lakes, Minn., produced an historic season for the Huskers in 2020-21 by becoming Nebraska’s first Big Ten champion while leading Coach Lisa Johnson‘s Big Red to its first NCAA Regional appearance since 2008. Smith earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight season while also claiming a spot on the Big Ten All-Championship Team after firing a school-record-tying 64 (-8) in the final round at TPC River’s Bend in Maineville, Ohio, to storm to the conference crown with a three-stroke win.
“This honor caps an amazing run for Kate,” Johnson said. “She came into this season with big goals, and one of them was to be remembered as one of the best to wear the ‘N’ and represent the Huskers. She has etched her name in the record books. It’s been a joy to coach her and play a role in her tremendous career. I am thrilled for Kate, and she certainly deserved the recognition because she earned it.”
Earlier in the season, Smith became the first Husker to compete in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Her performance throughout the season earned her an invitation to play for the U.S. team in the upcoming Palmer Cup at Rich Harvest Farms outside Chicago (June 11-13).
Smith, who set Nebraska’s career stroke average record (73.35) over 125 rounds, produced 21 top-10 finishes in her career. She also owns the school record for best round (64, twice), 54-hole tournament score (202) and best season stroke average (72.18, 2020) when she was named Nebraska’s first Big Ten Mary Fossum Award winner.
In addition to her All-America performances on the course, Smith was a 2020 WGCA Scholastic All-American and a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. She is a four-time Academic All-Big Ten choice. In the community, Smith was one of just four Huskers across all sports to earn a 2021 Nebraska Heart & Soul Award by exhibiting superior character, integrity, initiative, accountability and a true passion to represent Nebraska Athletics.
Smith becomes the third Husker women’s golfer in history to earn All-America honors, joining 2003 first-team All-American Sarah Sasse and 1992 honorable-mention All-American Joanne Brooks.