Bluffton earns third AVCA Team Academic Award
Bluffton volleyball earns third AVCA Team Academic Award
July 24, 2012
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) recently announced
that 533 teams have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2011-2012 season.
This number once again breaks the previous year's total of 481 and sets a new all-time
high for this award. It marks the third time the Bluffton University Volleyball Team
has been recognized (2003, 2007).
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.
"Many coaches tell us they take more pride in and hear more positive feedback about winning the AVCA Team Academic Award than anything else they do all year," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "While it is undeniable that the sport we coach is zero-sum on the scoreboard, it is a tool for empowerment on other fronts. The 533 coaches whose teams won this academic award understand the value of both playing to win and winning through play. A well-deserved congratulations to each team and coach!"
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. Since the 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 200 percent increase over the span of the last decade. Division III also set a new record with 90 winners and the high school division increased their all-time high of 192 recipients to 220.
Prior to 2011-12, only 13 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 three programs -- Concordia University-St. Paul (NCAA Division II), Cowley College (NJCAA Division II) and Clearwater Christian College (NCCAA Division II) - all three of whom excelled in the classroom and on the court.
Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 20-year history, with 4,827 awards been given out in total. Only two institutions, both high schools, have earned the distinction all 20 years: Jonesboro High School (Jonesboro, Arkansas) and Ross S. Sterling High School (Baytown, Texas).