Abby Minott competes for the University of Maine at Farmington women’s track & field team. Photo courtesy of the North Atlantic Conference

Recent University of Maine at Farmington graduate Abby Minott was named the North Atlantic Conference Woman of the Year on Monday.

The Bath native, who was a member of UMF’s women’s cross country and track & field teams, was selected from eight finalists by the 12-member conference’s athletic directors and senior women administrators. In being named the NAC’s Woman of the Year, Minott will be the conference’s nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.

Abby Minott Photo courtesy of UMF Athletics

Minott is the third straight NAC Woman of the Year selection from UMF, following Fern Calkins in 2021 and McKenna Brodeur in 2022.

According to the conference’s website: The NAC Woman of the Year award is modeled after the NCAA Woman of the Year program which honors graduating student athletes who distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership.

Minott was previously named the 2023 NAC Senior Scholar Athlete in women’s track & field and UMF’s 2023 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She was also selected to the College Sports Communicators’ Academic All-District team.

The Morse High School graduate capped off her third season on the UMF women’s track team with first-team All-NAC honors in the triple jump thanks to her performance at the conference championship meet. The 2023 season also marked her second time being named a team captain.


Minott spent one season on the Beavers’ women’s cross country team.

BACKMAN GRADUATES TO UMF HEAD COACH: Another recent UMF graduate, Kaya Backman, will be staying with the college’s women’s lacrosse program, but she will be trading in her stick for a coach’s clipboard.

Kaya Backman Photo courtesy of UMF Athletics

The 2023 graduate was named the program’s next head coach Friday, replacing interim head coach Jon Hayes.

Backman, a South Portland native, is transitioning to a coaching role after spending five seasons in the program as a player — including four as a team captain.

“Farmington is home for me. When I was being recruited as a high school athlete, I instantly fell in love with the campus and small town feel that Farmington provides,” Backman said in a press release announcing the hiring.

Backman finished her career with 88 goals and 21 assists for 109 points across 48 games (47 starts). She graduated in May with a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education, with a minor in Coaching.

University of Maine at Farmington Director of Athletics Jamie Beaudoin said in the press release that “we are thrilled to have Kaya take over as the head coach of our women’s lacrosse program. She is a proud alumnus of UMF and will provide an abundance of energy both with her team and within our department. She has been a staple in the program, providing terrific leadership for several seasons as a player. I look forward to her continuing to do so in her new role as we work towards winning a NAC Championship.”

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