AVCA Rewrites Another Record With 450 Teams Lauded for Academic Excellence
Total overrides the previous mark of 409 schools set in 2008-09
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 20, 2010) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced today that 450 teams have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2009-2010 season. This number once again smashes the previous years' total of 409 and sets a new all-time high for this award.
The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.
"There is no better way to gauge the success of a sport than to track the accomplishments of the people who participate," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "Each of these 450 teams represents 12-15 really smart kids. What a great day for the sport of volleyball!"
The Team Academic Award has become one of the AVCA's fastest growing awards programs, seeing an impressive surge in teams honored over the past several years. The program has increased by over 300% in the last 10 years and by 79% in the past three years alone. Both NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II recorded their highest-ever total numbers of recipients, with the former honoring 94 programs and the latter honoring 55 programs. The high school division also set a new bar with its 179 honorees.
Prior to 2009-10, only nine teams had attained the pinnacle of volleyball success in both earning the AVCA Team Academic Award and winning their respective collegiate national championship in the same academic year. This year, the AVCA is proud to recognize four programs -- Concordia University-St. Paul (NCAA Division II), Washington University in St. Louis (NCAA Division III), Clearwater Christian College (NCCAA Division II) and Stanford University (NCAA Division I-II men) - all of whom excelled both in the classroom and on the court. Concordia-St. Paul and Washington-St. Louis had both accomplished this feat once before, ironically both in the same academic year (2007-08).
There were 119 first-time recipients of the AVCA Team Academic Award in 2009-10. NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II each saw 15 new teams achieve the honor, while NCAA Division III welcomed 17 newcomers. Thirteen NAIA teams, two NCCAA teams and two Two-Year Colleges garnered recognition for the first time, while 55 high school teams (51 girls' teams and four boys' teams) received their first AVCA Team Academic nod.
Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 18-year history, and over 2,900 awards have been given out in all. Only two institutions, both high schools, have earned the distinction all 18 years: Jonesboro High School (Jonesboro, Arkansas) and Ross S. Sterling High School (Baytown, Texas).
BREAKDOWN BY CLASSIFICATION
Division Number of recipients Percent Breakdown*
NCAA Division I Women 94 34%
NCAA Division II Women 55 27%
NCAA Division III Women 75 21%
NAIA Women 34 18.5%
Two-Year College Women 8 5%
NCCAA Women 2 13%
NCAA Collegiate Men 3 13.6%
High School (Girls and Boys) 179 15.2%
High School Girls 164
High School Boys 15
* Percentage is based on the total number of head coach members in each respective category.
TOTAL RECIPIENT HISTORY
The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by IMG Associations, a division of IMG, the world's premier and most diversified sports, entertainment and media company. The mission of the AVCA is to develop and grow the sport of volleyball; with a membership of over 5,000 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and developing the sport. Members are comprised of national and international coaches, collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as club directors. Other members include former players, officials, media members and other friends of volleyball. As a group, the AVCA is committed to the development, growth, advancement and publicity of volleyball throughout the world. Further information is available at www.avca.org.
For more information on the AVCA Team Academic Award program, click here.