Utah All-Americans Chase Hansen (football) and Kari Lee (gymnastics) have been named 2018-19 Tom Hansen Conference Medal recipients. A conference medal is awarded annually to each Pac-12 institution’s outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on a combination of athletics, academics and leadership.
Hansen is the third Utah football player to win a Tom Hansen Medal, joining Derrick Shelby (2012) and Hunter Dimick (2017). In his first season playing linebacker, Hansen was named a second-team All-American by the FWAA, Sporting News, The Athletic and Phil Steele in 2018. He was also a first-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior season when he led the Pac-12 in tackles for loss (22.0) and ranked fifth in the nation. His 114 total tackles was second on the team and he averaged a team-high 8.77 tackles per game.
Hansen, a team captain his senior year, led the Utes to the school’s first Pac-12 Football Championship game after winning the South Division outright.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in consumer and community studies with an emphasis in financial planning and a minor in sociology. Hansen contributed to the community by visiting area hospitals, assisting at homeless shelters and volunteering with a Boy Scouts of America refugee troop.
Lee becomes the fifth Utah gymnast in eight years to win a Tom Hansen Medal. A three-time All-American, Lee qualified for NCAA individual finals on vault and floor as a freshman while helping the Utes place second in the nation at the 2015 NCAA Championships. She recovered from Achilles surgery a year later to become a six-time All-Pac-12 selection and compete in the all-around her last two seasons.
Lee won 20 event titles in her career with 9.975 bests on both bars and beam and a 39.550 all-around high while hitting 96-percent (188-195) of her career routines. She starred on a team that won Pac-12 Championships in 2015 and 2017 and qualified into the NCAA Championships all five years of her career.
A team captain and member of the Gymnastics Leadership Committee, Lee was a four-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection and two-time WCGA Scholar All-American. She won the school’s 2018-19 Chris Hill Leadership Award and was co-recipient of the gymnastics program’s 2019 Greg Marsden Leadership Award. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
In the community, Lee participated activities that included a Girls on the Run shoe drive, speaking to students and teaching a physical education class at local elementary schools, participating in a Q&A with high-risk high school females and a fundraiser for the non-profit Women of the World organization.
Conference medal winners have been named every year since 1960-61. In 2009, the Pac-12 renamed the award the Tom Hansen Conference Medal in honor of Hansen, who retired in June of 2009 after serving for 26 years as commissioner of the Pac-10.
Utah’s Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal recipients:
2012: Derrick Shelby (football), Maria Graefnings (skiing)
2013: Miles Havlick(skiing), Rachel Messer (women’s basketball)
2014: Ben Tasevac (men’s tennis), Mary Beth Lofgren (gymnastics)
2015: Delon Wright (men’s basketball), Georgia Dabritz (gymnastics)
2016: Brandon Taylor (men’s basketball), Breanna Hughes (gymnastics)
2017: Hunter Dimick (football), Hannah Flippen (softball)
2018: Martin Bergström (skiing),Maddy Stover (gymnastics)
2019: Chase Hansen (football), Kari Lee (gymnastics)