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December 31, 2013

SCHOLAR POWER: Tech student-athletes post highest combined GPA in history


By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – What a way to start the new year.

Tennessee Tech student-athletes turn the page on the calendar this week after posting their highest combined GPA in school history during the fall semester, with four teams – men’s basketball, soccer, women’s golf and men’s golf – each registering the highest semester GPA in the history of their sports.

“These numbers are simply awesome,” said TTU Director of Athletics Mark Wilson. “It’s difficult to express how elated we are with these results, and how proud we are of all of our student-athletes and the support people who continue to strive for – and achieve – these outstanding academic results.”

The 14-team composite for Tech Athletic teams was 3.216, eclipsing the previous semester high mark of 3.196 which was achieved in the 2010 spring semester.

“Once again, Tennessee Tech student-athletes have proven they are champions in and out of the classroom,” said TTU President Dr. Philip Oldham. “They compete athletically with the very best, and they are well-prepared for life when they leave Tech.”

The women’s golf team led all teams during fall semester with a sizzling 3.647, topping the 3.221 earned during fall 2010 which was the previous high for the team.

The men’s golf team also scored a near hole-in-one with a 3.588, surpassing their former record of 3.383 during spring 2010.

The soccer team continued the record-setting trend with 3.541, topping their 3.525 earned during fall 2010.

The fourth record that fell was shattered by the men’s basketball team with a 3.126 team GPA. That lofty GPA surpassed the marks of all former men’s basketball teams, whose previous best was 2.847 of spring 2010.

The football team also recorded a successful semester with a 2.834 team GPA, second in program history only to the team’s all-time high of 2.899 earned during last spring.

The men’s tennis team also had its second-best historical effort with a 3.471 team average.

This is 10th consecutive semester that the Team GPA has been above 3.0, starting in spring 2009. Fall  resulted in the highest percentage of teams (86 percent) ever posting team GPA’s above 3.0 during a semester, with 12 of Tech’s 14 squads eclipsing that barrier.

“This was a team effort, and the student-athletes deserve most of the credit,” said Dr. Jeff Roberts, TTU’s Faculty Athletics Representative. “They are very cleary getting a lot of support from Lance Jasitt’s office and the faculty in general.

“This result speaks well of the recruiting being done, and of the entire athletics support system,” Roberts said. “Compliments to the coaches, too, for encouraging academic success.”

The successful fall marks continue a trend by Golden Eagle student-athletes, who have achieved the 10 highest combined overall semester GPAs in the last 10 semesters.

“Academic success is an area we focus on and have placed a lot of emphasis in, and these results provide positive feedback that we are continuing to achieve our goals,” Wilson said.

Several teams added to their streaks of consecutive semesters above the 3.0 mark. For soccer, it is the 18th consecutive and 22nd in the last 23 semesters, and for softball, the fall 2013 results were the 17th in a row and 21st in the last 23.

"The general academic performance of our population of student-athletes during the fall semester continues to be impressive,” said Dr. Lance Jasitt, Assistant Athletic Director for Academics. “Our philosophy in the academic division of the Department of Athletics has been that of continuous improvement, and our goal has been to realize that improvement each semester and with each student-athlete. We were fortunate to achieve such positive results once again this year.”

“This is a great testament to the dedicated nature of our student-athletes,” Wilson said. “The athletic department as a whole, including all of our outstanding student-athletes, has set a new precedent for prospective student-athletes, to respect and uphold to the best of their ability.”