Rylie West Named University of Tennessee Torchbearer

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University of Tennessee Torchbearer
Photo by UT Sports

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – March 22, 2024 – On Wednesday, senior Rylie West received the University of Tennessee’s highest student honor – the Torchbearer Award.

“I am overjoyed for Rylie,” head coach Karen Weekly said. “She exemplifies everything it means to be a Torchbearer. She has grown so much as a servant leader during her four years at Tennessee and embraces every opportunity to positively impact those around her. She has a heart for people and her generous spirit is infectious. We are blessed that she is a Lady Vol and incredibly proud that she will now forever be known as a Tennessee Torchbearer.”

It is the second consecutive year Tennessee softball had a player receive the Torchbearer Award, following Kiki Milloy’s recognition last season. The first Torchbearers were awarded in 1931, and West is the 30th student-athlete to receive the honor and the second softball player to earn this recognition.

It is the first time since 1957 and 1958 that a single team has had back-to-back Torchbearer recipients. It will also be the first time ever Torchbearer Award winners have played together.

The Torchbearer is the highest student honor conferred by the University of Tennessee. Torchbearers are seniors who have served their alma mater with overall excellence. The Torchbearer is awarded for academic achievement and outstanding commitment to others as demonstrated by the student’s various activities and significant contributions to the university and the community.

Students chosen for this award embody the Volunteer spirit, displaying initiative and service in the best interests of both the university and their fellow students. Recognition as a Torchbearer reminds all students that those who bear the torch of enlightenment shadow themselves to give light to others.

Chancellor Donde Plowman along with Rylie’s dad, Troy, and the entire Tennessee softball team and staff were on hand to surprise the senior outfielder with the honor.