September 29, 2011

THE BEST: Softball team tops Division I in academics...again

STARKVILLE, Miss. – For the second time in four years, coach Tory Acheson's Tennessee Tech softball team has produced the highest combined team GPA in all of Division I, earning an impressive 3.619 mark during the 2010-11 academic year. Tech was also the Division I national champion in academic performance in the 2007-08 season.

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Academic Awards program honors both collegiate and high school teams for their submitted GPAs for the academic year.  As a second component of the program, all submitted student-athletes who achieved a 3.50 GPA during the academic year are named as a NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete.  The individual honorees will be announced on Wednesday, October 5 on NFCA.org.

"We're very proud of the kids for the hard work they put in in the classroom," Acheson said. "To be recognized as the number one Division I team in the nation is a great accomplishment. This past year, even our weakest kids academically were still strong by most people's standards."

The Golden Eagles ranked first nationally in 2007-08, fourth in 2008-09, and seventh last year before returning to the top spot in 2010-11.

"We could not be any more proud of coach Acheson and his student-athletes for this achievement, and to be ranked four years in a row really says something about their effort, dedication and commitment to academic success," said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics.  "This ranking just reinforces what we already know, that coach Acheson and his student-athletes are truly winners in collegiate athletics."

Division III Northwestern (Minn.) tallied a 3.694 team grade point average to lead all colleges in the 2011 NFCA Top 10 All-Academic team rankings. This marks the first time in program history that the Eagles have led either the Division III or all-college rankings.
 
Leading the way in the NAIA this year was Central Methodist who turned in a 3.627 GPA.  Illinois Central unseated the two-time, defending junior college winner Wallace St.-Hanceville with a 3.540 and Division II Central Missouri rounded out the collegiate divisional winners with a 3.533.

Below are listed the Top 10 teams in each of the five collegiate categories (NCAA Division I, II and III; NAIA; all junior college divisions). For a complete listing of all team GPAs, go to http://www.nfca.org/pagebank/?id=1916.
 
NCAA Division I
1. Tennessee Technological University – 3.619

2. Southern Illinois University – 3.611
3. Robert Morris University – 3.553
4. Houston Baptist University – 3.551
5. Bowling Green State University – 3.534
6. Youngstown State University – 3.523
7. Troy University – 3.512
8. University of Alabama – 3.510
9. East Tennessee State University – 3.495
10 (tie). Eastern Michigan University – 3.477
10 (tie). Stetson University – 3.477
 
NCAA Division II
1. University of Central Missouri – 3.533, 2. Lynn University – 3.526, 3. Texas Woman’s University – 3.502, 4. University of Arkansas at Monticello – 3.487, 5. University of Findlay – 3.460, 6. Mansfield University – 3.450, 7. Chowan University – 3.435, 8. Grand Canyon University 3.430, 9. Rollins College – 3.426, 10. Limestone College – 3.421.
 
NCAA Division III
1. Northwestern College – 3.694, 2. Spalding University – 3.650, 3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – 3.600, 4. Pomona-Pitzer Colleges – 3.578, 5. Suffolk University – 3.558, 6. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges – 3.512, 7. Thiel College – 3.490, 8. Skidmore College – 3.487, 9. Emerson College – 3.480, 10. Lebanon Valley College – 3.479.
 
NAIA
1. Central Methodist University – 3.627, 2. William Carey University – 3.559, 3. McKendree University – 3.520, 4. Lindenwood University – 3.518, 5. St. Xavier University – 3.496, 6. Bethel University (Tenn.) – 3.490, 7. Concordia University (Neb.) – 3.484, 8. Columbia College (Mo.) – 3.480, 9. Southern Nazarene University – 3.471, 10. Mount Marty College – 3.445.
 
Junior College
1. Illinois Central College – 3.540, 2. Wallace State Community College, Hanceville – 3.485, 3. Iowa Western Community College – 3.408, 4. Salt Lake Community College – 3.404, 5. East Mississippi Community College – 3.393, 6. Hinds Community College – 3.379, 7. Labette Community College – 3.352, 8. Holmes Community College – 3.338, 9. College of Southern Idaho – 3.282, 10. Indian Hills Community College – 3.280.