TAMPA, Fla. – Eleven University of South Florida athletic teams posted a 3.0 GPA or better for the 2008 fall semester, while 253 student-athletes earned a 3.0 or higher and 25 student-athletes earned a perfect 4.0 GPA.
“Our student-athletes are aware of what it takes to be successful both athletically and academically and pride themselves in achieving excellence in both," said Amy Haworth, Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development and Senior Woman Administrator. "In the fast-paced world of college athletics, our coaches and academic advisors work hard to create an environment where learning and achieving academically is and remains a top priority. I am very proud of all those whose work has gone into supporting these 11 teams and look forward to continued success in the spring."
The softball team recorded its highest GPA in program history, as well as the top mark in the department for the fall 2008 semester with a 3.41. It comes one semester after the softball team set a previous best a combined GPA of 3.4. Eleven members of the 25-player squad had a 3.5 or higher and 22 players earned a 3.00 or above. Merrill Robinson, Melissa Rosas, Caitlin Schneider and Hillary Wolf led the team with 4.0s.
“I think a lot of credit not only goes out to our team, but assistant coach Stacey Heintz and our team academic coordinator Courtney Lewellen have done a stellar job in making sure all of our academic ‘t’s’ are crossed and our ‘I’s’ dotted," said softball coach Ken Eriksen. "Those two and our team get the notion of ‘student-athlete.’ By making sure our academic house is in order, we can now approach the field of play with a clear mind. As a team, we are now in full pursuit of winning the BIG EAST softball title and the BIG EAST academic title.”
The baseball team also recorded the highest average in program history, as the men posted a 3.2 GPA. Nine Bulls assembled a 3.5 or higher while 19 more maintained a 3.0 - 3.5 mark. Doug Wagner and Randy Fontanez led the squad with a 3.93 and 3.91, respectively, followed by Jonathan Koscso's 3.87 and Trey Dahl's 3.83.
"Posting the highest GPA in program history is something we are very proud of," said baseball coach Lelo Prado. "Since I've been here, one thing we have changed is the attitude toward academics. Our guys made a total commitment to get the highest GPA in school history, and they did it. But we're not done yet. We have raised the bar and I expect them to keep the bar up there. I think it can be even higher than that, so we're going to keep pushing them on the academic side. They know the consequences. They are here to get an education, then if they make it to the big leagues, great, if not, they will walk out of USF with a degree."
The top three team GPAs for the fall semester belong to softball (3.41), women's golf (3.37) and women's tennis (3.35). Five teams tied with a 3.22 – women's cross country, men's tennis, women's indoor track, women's outdoor track and volleyball – while baseball (3.2), women's soccer (3.15) and men's golf (3.03) round out the top 11.