Contributed by: filbert Tuesday, July 18 2006 @ 12:10 PM CST
Atlanta, Ga. -- The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced its 2005-2006 Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll for NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA and Junior College/Community College. The awards recognize teams throughout the nation that have the highest grade point averages (GPA) for the 2005-2006 season based upon nominations submitted by WBCA-member coaches.
"It is my pleasure to recognize each of these distinguished women's basketball programs that have gone above and beyond excellence on the court, and have extended it to the classroom," said WBCA Chief Executive Officer Beth Bass. "These 117 teams admirably strive to be successful all-around and we commend their efforts. Congratulations!"
Division Institution 2005-06 Head Coach GPA Top 25 Range NCAA I South Dakota State University Aaron Johnston 3.730 3.730-3.298 NCAA II University of Nebraska - Kearney Carol Russell 3.663 3.663-3.297 NCAA III Colorado College Kelly Mahlum 3.577 3.577-3.331 NAIA Dana College Brenda Mechels 3.585 3.585-2.991 JC/CC Colby Community College Tom Stephens 3.458 3.458-2.675* *=top 17 range
Each of the top ranking institutions have appeared on the WBCA Academic Top 25 Honor Roll as least once in the past six years. The University of Nebraska - Kearney returns to the number one spot for the second time, with the first time in 2003. South Dakota State University finished in a close second last year and has taken the number one seed for the first time. Also finishing at the top spot for the first time are Colorado College, Dana College and Colby Community College. These "classy" teams combine for an average 3.602 GPA for the 2005-2006 season.
GPAs are calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by each student-athlete on an institution's roster in the given academic terms by the total number of hours earned by the team. The GPAs are rounded to the nearest thousandth of a point.
NCAA Division I
In his second season at the NCAA Division I level, South Dakota State's Aaron Johnston has already taken over the ranks to top this year's Academic Top 25. After finishing second in 2005, Johnston's team took it one step further to become the number one academic team in the nation not only for NCAA Division I, but they also carried the highest GPA at all levels. The Lady Jacks squad's success in the classroom carried over to the court, as they finished the season with 21 wins and an overall record of 21-7.
"We had a really dedicated team committed to doing both academics and athletics. Being in the top 15 of the WBCA Academic Top 25 is always a goal of ours," Johnston said. "Last year we finished second, so it was a goal to try to improve upon that. The team did a great job!"
The WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll for NCAA Division I is as follows:
School 2005-2006 Head Coach Team GPA 1. South Dakota State Aaron Johnston 3.730 2. Indiana State University Jim Wiedie 3.612 3. Eastern Washington University Wendy Schuller 3.474 4. Valparaiso University Keith Freeman 3.468 5. Montana State - Bozeman Tricia Binford 3.459 6. University of New Mexico Don Flanagan 3.424 7. Oakland University Beckie Francis 3.402 8. University of Northern Iowa Tony DiCecco 3.399 9. Northern Arizona University Laurie Kelly 3.364 10. Univ. of Wisconsin - Green Bay Kevin Borseth 3.362 11. DePaul University Doug Bruno 3.361 12. Canisius College Terrence Zeh 3.344 13. University of Denver Pamela Tanner 3.343 T14. Lehigh University Susan Troyan 3.338 T14. Liberty University Carey Green 3.338 16. University of Central Florida Gail Striegler 3.335 17. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Robert Robinson 3.330 18. Dartmouth College Christina Wielgus 3.323 19. University of Oklahoma Sherri Coale 3.315 20. Saint Bonaventure University Jim Crowley 3.307 21 Long Island University Stephanie Gaitley 3.301 22. Villanova University Harry Perretta 3.300 23. University of Florida Carolyn Peck 3.299 T24. Bradley University Paula Buscher 3.298 T24. Fairleigh Dickinson University Sandy Gordon 3.298