Roadrunners honored with American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award
LEXINGTON, Ky. — UTSA was honored with an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for academic excellence, the organization announced earlier this week.
The Roadrunners were one of a record 134 NCAA Division I programs honored with the award after registering a 3.32 cumulative team GPA during the 2013-14 academic year. In its first season in Conference USA, UTSA swept the league's regular season and tournament crowns and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the last four years en route to a 24-8 record.
"This is an outstanding honor for our program," head coach Laura Neugebauer-Groff said. "The student-athletes worked very hard in the classroom last year, along with winning a conference championship on the court, and now they have been rewarded for their academic success."
It marked the second time in the last three years that UTSA has been honored with the AVCA Team Academic Award (2011-12). 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.
"Too often athletic participation is associated with academic underachievement and this stereotype is simply false when it comes to volleyball," AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer said. "Couple the smarts represented by these teams with the competitive experience and team-focused training gained on the court and we have a potent formula for future leadership. What a significant contribution that is by their coaches and schools."
The AVCA 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. Since the 2000-01 season, the number of recipients have increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 500-percent increase over the span of the last decade. Since the award's inception in 1993, the amount of award winners has increased from 62 to its current number of 676.
The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by Associations International. The mission of the AVCA is to advance the sport of volleyball with AVCA coaches at the epicenter of leadership, advocacy and professional development. With a membership of more than 6,400, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and promoting the sport. Members include collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as volleyball club directors. The AVCA provides education to volleyball coaches, recognition of elite players and coaches, promotion of volleyball competitions throughout the world, and networking opportunities for volleyball products and services providers. Further information is available at avca.org.