Kylie Doniak is back on top. After suffering severe injuries about four months ago in an auto-pedestrian accident, the former University of Texas soccer star has been named the 2011-12 Big 12 Female Sportsperson of the Year.
On February third, Doniak was struck by a drunk driver in downtown Austin, Texas. At first the initial reports and diagnosis showed that she, at best, would be lucky to survive. The internal injuries suffered in the accident were major. However, Doniak didn’t give up and battled for her life. She remained in the Intensive Care Unit at the University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin for weeks.
Her survival and recovery has been miraculous. She improved enough to be moved to a rehabilitation center in Southern California, where her parents live. After tremendous progress, Doniak was able to move to her parents home on April 18th in Chino Hills, CA. While the road to recovery is still long, she has made remarkable progress to get back to her normal self.
The Big 12 Conference annually recognizes top male and female athletes that display an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship and/or community service from within the conference. Doniak received the award on Monday and becomes the first UT female student-athlete to earn the award and the third Longhorn to be recognized.
Doniak was an inspiration to all. She completed her athletics career as a member for The University of Texas women’s soccer team last fall. She led the Longhorns in scoring last season with five goals and five assists. While finishing her career ranked 10th in school history for career goals, she was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week the second week of the season. Even more impressive, Doniak earned a spot on the Academic All-Big 12 First Team three times.
Within the community she was a leader. Doniak assisted with the Orange Santa on the UT campus, which provides help for members of The University community of special needs during the holiday season. Along with this she visited the Dell Children’s Hospital multiple times and helped with Light the Night program, honoring those who lost lives with leukemia. As a member of the soccer team she participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a 5K run to promote the awareness for the prevention and cure of breast cancer, and hosted the Neighborhood Longhorns Program Soccer Math Challenge.
Doniak is a true role model to many in the national community. Her fight for survival and daily battle to progress has brought her teammates, friends, and community together. Always fighting and always competing, Doniak is strong and committed. An inspiration to many, this award shows her true nature. While he continues to recover, he isn’t forgot about in the Big 12 and Longhorn community.