From Arkansas State University
Academic performance reached an all-time high during a record-setting 2013 fall semester for Arkansas State Athletics, which saw its student-athletes achieve a 3.029 all-department GPA that was the highest in school history.
With a school-record 197 student-athletes earning a spot on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll, the Red Wolves put together their best showing ever in the classroom last semester. Among the 57 percent of all A-State's student-athletes to receive the distinction, 45 of them held down a 4.0 GPA. Out of 348 student-athletes, that's close to 15 percent who accomplished academic perfection.
"I am extremely proud of this group of student-athletes representing Arkansas State," said A-State Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir. "This is a great testament to them, our coaching staff and administration, so I give them a standing ovation for their academic dedication. We stress the importance of academics daily, and this proves our student-athletes have stepped up and accepted the challenge to achieve more than ever before in the classroom. Everything we do, and everything we stand for, starts with their trek to graduating. We are always rising."
Even with the Red Wolves claiming two out of six Sun Belt Conference titles, which helped lead them to second place in the league's Bubas Cup standings by the end of fall, their academic performance last semester has taken center stage. Twelve of A-State's 16 NCAA sports posted a team GPA of at least 3.0, led by the women's tennis squad with a 3.60.
The other sports that hit a 3.0 included women's soccer (3.49), women's cross country (3.44), women's bowling (3.40), women's golf (3.24), baseball (3.19), men's golf (3.16), men's cross country (3.09), women's indoor/outdoor track and field (3.06) and women's volleyball (3.03).
Every sport was represented by at least three student-athletes on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll. The distinction went to every tennis player, and 12 teams had at least 56 percent of their student-athletes make the list. Included in the group was senior football player Brian Davis, who became Arkansas State's sixth football student-athlete to ever earn First Team Academic All-America honors.
The success enjoyed last semester was in line with an upward trend in academic progress by the Red Wolves. The 2013 fall semester marked the third time in school history A-State Athletics has reached a 3.0 all-department GPA, and all three times have been over the last four semesters dating back to the spring of 2012.
"Our student-athletes continue to commit great amounts of time and effort to their academics, and this shows it's paying off for them," said Associate Athletics Director for Student Services Stacey Willmott. "Our goal is to provide all the resources possible to help our student-athletes succeed in the classroom, but that success has largely been attained as a product of their hard work. What a tremendous honor it is to work with such a great group of young people."
As well as the Red Wolves performed academically, they also enjoyed a large amount of competitive success last fall. The football team won its third straight Sun Belt Conference title and then claimed its second straight GoDaddy Bowl victory, while women's cross country claimed its first ever SBC championship.
The women's bowling team earned a No. 1 national ranking during the fall semester. Women's volleyball and soccer both advanced to the semifinals of the SBC tournament. The men's cross country team enjoyed its best finish ever at the SBC championships, and women's golf collected three top-four finishes in four fall tournaments played.
Additionally, 12 student-athletes from six sports were named a Sun Belt Conference Performer or Player of the Week a combined 18 times. The Red Wolves also had 17 players named All-Sun Belt Conference, and two football players were named All-America by Sports Illustrated.