The quartet represents a season of outstanding academic accomplishments for a Sam Houston State University athletic program that keeps getting better and better both in the arena and the class room.
Sam Houston State won league titles and made long NCAA post-season runs in football and baseball. The Kats experienced Southland Conference tournament success as well in volleyball, soccer, basketball and softball.
Even more impressive is the athletic program's success in the classroom.
The more than 400 student-athletes who represent Sam Houston State University in intercollegiate sports set several athletic department records during the 2012 spring semester including a 3.00 combined grade point average (GPA).
Other new academic marks included a total of 176 student-athletes with 3.0 or higher semester GPAs; 131 with overall career GPAs above 3.0; 30 men and women with perfect 4.0 semester GPAs and seven Bearkat sports teams compiling overall squad GPAs above 3.0.
"To have more than half of our teams post grade point averages higher than 3.0 is just remarkable. We've never had a semester with that many of our sports teams over 3.0 before," Sam Houston director of athletics Bobby Williams said. "We are extremely proud of our student-athlete's achievements in the classroom and commend our coaching staff for the job they do in recruiting quality student-athletes. The number one goal for each of our sports teams is to have our young men and women earn their Sam Houston degrees."
Sam Houston State also tied a school mark during the 2011-12 year having four Bearkats recognized as Southland Conference "Student-Athlete of the Year" in their respective sports.
Watson, Davis, Glenn and Arrington took honors in each of their individual sports. Only in 2007 has the Bearkat program equaled the feat. Since 2007, 13 Bearkats have been voted Southland "Student-Athlete of the Year" a total of 15 times.
In addition, women's bowling team members Dayna Galganski and Michelle Secours earned Academic All-America recognition. Sam Houston competes as an NCAA Division I independent in bowling. The bowling team finished the 2011-12 season ranked No. 9 nationally.
Also, in January at the NCAA Division I National Championship football game in Frisco, Bearkat quarterback Greg Sprowls received the Elite 89 award in a special presentation made by NCAA President Dr. Mark A. Emmert.
Twenty-nine Bearkats were selected Academic All-Southland Conference. The Academic All-Conference teams are selected in each sport by vote of the league's head coaches, sports information directors and academic coordinators. To be eligible, a student-athlete must have an overall career GPA of 3.0 or above, be a starter or front line reserve and have competed in at least half of the team's events.
During both the fall and spring semesters 168 Bearkat student-athletes earn spots on the Southland Conference Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll by posting 3.0 or higher GPAs during the semester in which their sport competed.
Sam Houston's athletic department 2.96 spring semester average represents a mark higher than the overall GPA for the university's 17,618 students. The performance marks the eighth time in the past 12 semesters athletics has produced 2.90 or higher GPA.
These performances highlight the SHSU Department of Athletics Fall 2012 Academic Report released this week by associate athletic director for student services Chris Thompson and her staff.
"These athletic and academic achievements don't happen by accident," Williams said. "Chris Thompson and her academic support staff and the coaches from each sport make academics a priority and work hard to recruit quality young men and women."
The 30 student-athletes who posted 4.0 fall GPAs included Jake Arrington, Greg Olson and Wyatt Powell (baseball); Michelle Secours (bowling); Michael Buse, Kash David, Robert Martin, Joshua Reynolds and Caden Walker (football); Jessica Borth and Sarah St. John (women's golf); Kayla Anderson, Rebecca Cheiffetz, Ashley Fluty and Hailey Shelpuk (soccer); Alyssa Coggins and Tomi Garrison (softball); Oliver Dubiel, Henry Jordan, Patrick Pitts, Nicole Aponte, Kristian Austin, Haleigh Ceballos, Brittany Henson and Jenny Zoch (track and field); and Lauren Bohlen, Tayler Gray, Jamie Haas, Courtney Kimutis and Carli Kolbe (volleyball).
The Bearkat volleyball team that compiled an 11-5 Southland Conference won-loss record and reached the semifinals of the league post-season tournament led the academic success parade with a 3.36 team spring semester GPA. Other sports with 3.0 plus GPAs were women's golf 3.34, tennis 3.29, bowling and soccer 3.16, softball 3.04 and women's track and field 3.00.
"It's really fun winning with young student-athletes who work hard in the class room as well as on the field," Sam Houston head football coach Willie Fritz said.
Sam Houston athletics' success in the classroom is no flash in the pan. Since the 1994-95 school year, SHSU student-athletes have combined to produce semester GPAs of 2.4 or higher. The Bearkat athletic GPA has 2.89 or higher for 12 consecutive semesters.
SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE COMMISSIONER'S ACADEMIC HONOR MEMBERS (2011-12)
MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
MEN'S TRACK & FIELD
WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD
*Academic All-Southland Conference Selection
#Southland Conference "Student-Athlete-of-the-Year"
Note: Women's bowling is not a Southland Conference sport. The Bearkats compete in bowling as an NCAA Division I independent