Cougars Honored For Academic Success

BYU libero Janvier Beaumont achieved a 3.69 GPA during the 2005-06 season, helping the Cougars garner Game Plan/AVCA accolades. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The American Volleyball Coaches Association has announced that BYU is one of 54 NCAA Division I volleyball programs that have received the Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2005-2006 season. The award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors college and high school teams that displayed excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale during the school year. The Cougars' hard work in the classroom earned them a 3.51 cumulative GPA for the season.

"This award recognizes the dedication and commitment of our student-athletes to their academic pursuits," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "I am as proud of the work that we do in the classroom as I am of the work that we do in the gym."

The 287 total schools receiving the honor eclipses last season's mark of 276 for the second most in the 14-year history of the program; the 2003-04 season produced the record when 305 schools achieved the award.

Recipients of the award range from NCAA Division I institutions to high school girls' and boys' teams. The college ranks produced 155 programs that met the requirements for the award in 2005-2006. To go along with the record number of NCAA Division I recipients, NCAA Division II (31) tied its highest division mark set in 2003-2004 and NCAA Division III (44) set its second highest division total (48 in 2003-2004).

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) had 21of its members achieve the honor this year, while four (4) schools in the two-year college category attained the mark. The NCAA men's programs produced their third all-time recipient of the award. A total of 132 high school boys and girls programs earned the award in 2005-2006.

"The Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award is what being a student-athlete is all about," AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer said. "The AVCA is privileged to once again be able to award these schools for their excellence in the classroom. We congratulate the student-athletes, coaches and school personnel for achieving this honor and upholding the delicate balance between academics and athletics."

Over 800 different schools have won the award in the program's 14-year history, and over 2000 awards have been given out. Only two institutions, both high schools, have earned it all 14 years: Jonesboro High School (Jonesboro, Arkansas) and Ross S. Sterling High School (Baytown, Texas).

Additional Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award Facts

Award History

Year: Recipients

2005-06: 287

2004-05: 276

2003-04: 305

2002-03: 205

2001-02: 178

2000-01: 130

1999-2000: 140

1998-99: 149

1997-98: 132

1996-97: 134

1995-96: 116

1994-95: 83

1993-94: 98

1992-93: 62

Breakdown by Classification

Division NCAA Division I Women: 54

NCAA Division II Women: 31

NCAA Division III Women: 44

NCAA Men: 1

NAIA Women: 21

Two-Year College Women: 4

High School Girls: 125

High School Boys: 7

Streaking Teams

Indiana State University earned the honor for the eighth straight year, the longest active streak in NCAA Division I, tying Morehead State (1996-97 through 2003-04) for the longest streak in Division I since the inception of the program. Drury University, a Division II school, won the award for the tenth consecutive season, longest active streak and second longest overall in Division II to Augustana College's streak of 11 (1992-93 to 2002-03). Four teams in Division III earned their sixth consecutive inclusion on the Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award list; Wisconsin-Eau Claire still holds the mark with eight consecutive from 1995-96 to 2002-03. College of St. Mary (Nebraska) won its NAIA-leading 12th consecutive award, the longest of any NAIA program. Central Community College (Columbus) pulled in its third straight award, the longest active streak among two-year colleges.

Overall Honors

University of Nebraska (Lincoln) won its 11th overall Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award in 2005-06, the most in NCAA Division I. Augustana College (South Dakota) holds the Division II total awards mark, also with 11. In Division III, Kalamazoo College won its 9th overall Academic Award in 2005-06, tying them with the College of St. Benedict for the most in that division. College of St. Mary's (Nebraska) streak of 12 straight is not only the longest number won consecutive, but also are the most won overall by an NAIA institution. Southwest Community College in Iowa holds the most Academic Awards won by a Two-Year College with eight.

New York University became the second NCAA Division III men's volleyball program to earn the award, and just the third overall collegiate men's program.?While Jonesboro and Ross Sterling's girls' teams have earned the award all 14 years of the program's existence, Wheeling High School Boys (Wheeling, Illinois) has won the most awards with nine.

First-Time Winners

There were several first-time recipients of the Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award in 2004-05. NCAA Division I saw 16 new teams achieve the honor, while Division II and Division III welcomed 10 and 13 newcomers, respectively. Two NAIA teams and one Two-Year college received the distinction for the first time, while 34 high school teams received their first Team Academic Award.

Elite Status

Some of this year's award recipients achieved a high level of success on the court, as well as in the classroom. Six teams that earned the 2005-06 Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award also advanced as far as the round of eight in their respective four-year collegiate postseason national tournaments. In NCAA Division I, the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) played in the national championship match and the University of Florida advanced to the round of eight. In NCAA Division II, Concordia University (St. Paul) progressed to the round of eight. In NCAA Division III, Wittenberg University played in the national semifinals, while New York University and Washington University in St. Louis advanced as far as the national quarterfinals.

Other Notes

In its 14-year history, the Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award has been earned by: 136 DI programs (men and women); 78 DII schools; 116 DIII schools (men and women); 67 NAIA schools; 2 NCCAA schools; 21 two-year colleges; and approximately 455 high school girls and boys teams.

Historically, five teams have attained the pinnacle of volleyball success in winning both the Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award and their respective national championship in the same academic year. Those teams are NAIA's Dickinson State University (N.D.) in 2000-01 and then-NAIA University of Puget Sound (Wash.) in 1993-94, Division III Central College (Iowa) in 2000-01, Division II Barry University (Fla.) in 1995-96 and most recently Division I Stanford University (Calif.) in 2001-02.

NCAA Division I Women Winners (54 teams)

Institution State Head Coach

American University DC Barry Goldberg

Appalachian State University NC Chad Callihan

Arkansas State University AR Craig Cummings

Bowling Green State University OH Denise Van De Walle

Bradley University IL Scott Luster

BYU UT Jason Watson

Cleveland State University OH Chuck Voss

Creighton NE Kirsten Bernthal Booth

DePaul University IL Amy Kleyweg

Eastern Michigan University MI Kim Berrington

High Point University NC Chad Esposito

Indiana University IN Katie Weismiller

Indiana State University IN Julie Krofcheck

Kansas State University KS Suzie Fritz

Long Island University NY Toby Rens

Marshall University WV Mitch Jacobs

McNeese State University LA Dale Starr

Missouri State University MO Melissa Stokes

North Dakota State ND Zaundra Bina

Rice University TX Genny Volpe

Rider University NJ Emily Ahlquist

Saint Francis University PA Scott Gleason

South Dakota State University SD Andrew Palileo

Southern Illinois University IL Brenda Winkeler

Stanford University CA John Dunning

Syracuse University NY Jing Pu

University of Hartford CT Don Ferguson

University of Montana MT Allison Weston

University of New Mexico NM Kelley Sliva McKee

University of Tennessee at Martin TN Amy Draper

United States Military Academy NY Glen Conley

University of Akron OH Mike Sweitzer

University of Cincinnati OH Reed Sunahara

University of Denver CO Beth Kuwata

University of Evansville IN Mike Swan

University of Florida FL Mary Wise

University of Kansas KS Ray Bechard

University of Memphis TN Carrie Yerty

University of Nebraska NE John Cook

University of N.C. Wilmington NC Jennifer McCall

University of North Florida FL Bryan Bunn

University of Northern Colorado CO Lyndsey Benson

University of Notre Dame IN Debbie Brown

University of Northern Iowa IA Bobbi Peterson

University of Oregon OR Jim Moore

University of Toledo OH Kent Miller

University of Wyoming WY Pat Stangle

UW-Milwaukee WI Kathy Litzau

Valparaiso University IN Carin Avery

Villanova University PA Gilad Doron

Virginia Tech VA Greg Smith

Western Illinois University IL Kym McKay

Western Michigan University MI Colleen Munson

Wichita State University KS Chris Lamb