The Valparaiso University men’s golf program has been honored by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) as the Division I Academic National Champion, posting the top team GPA among all Division I programs. The 11-man Crusader roster combined for a team GPA of 3.755 over the 2015-16 academic year.
“Every year, each member of the team provides me with their individual and team goals, and those will be golf related, in the classroom and personal,” said Crusader head coach David Gring. “All 11 of our players unanimously identified that finishing #1 in the country for team GPA among D-I schools was one of their goals. This became one of our three primary team goals for this past season, and I couldn't be more proud of our guys for having the vision and obtaining the ambitious goal.”
Beyond being named the Division I Academic National Champion, Valpo was recognized by the GCAA as an All-Academic Team for a sixth consecutive year. The Crusaders also picked up President’s Special Recognition honors – awarded to programs with a 3.5 team GPA or better – for the fifth straight year, one of just three programs nationally to earn that honor five years running.
“Academics has always been a very important part of our team culture and it is emphasized with great zeal, from our recruiting process all the way through graduation,” said Gring. “These guys are constantly pushing themselves individually and as a team and they are holding each other accountable with their grades. The eagerness and intensity that these young men put towards their practice, tournament play and classroom performance is extraordinary and even profound.”
Valparaiso was one of three Horizon League programs to be named an All-Academic Team this season, along with Detroit and Oakland. The Crusaders were joined by Detroit as league institutions which earned the President’s Special Recognition status. Three Crusaders - Jared Magoline, Nick Seitz and Peter Webb- earned Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar honors from the GCAA last week, while all 10 eligible Crusaders earned spots on the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll.
“We have a plethora of major studies on the team, from marketing to sports management to chemistry,” said Gring. “For 11 student-athletes of all ages and backgrounds to average a 3.755 GPA for the entire year is both praiseworthy and thrilling. What is most exciting about this award is that it is truly a complete team effort and each guy has to carry his weight. It is a blessing to work with these fine young men every day and we are most grateful for this national recognition.”