LAS VEGAS, NM – New Mexico Highlands’ athletes demonstrated their commitment on the field and in the classroom with 121 Cowboys and Cowgirls earning a 3.0 GPA or better.
The women’s track and field and volleyball teams earned the highest average GPAs, 3.41.
“We are very proud of our student-athletes for their success in the classroom and how they positively represent our department,” said Craig Snow, Highlands interim athletic director. “The spring 2018 semester saw numerous records, which is especially impressive when taking into account the amount of balance it takes to perform well both on the court and in the classroom.”
Some of the teams’ accomplishments this semester include:
- The ninth straight semester the men’s baseball team earned an average better than a 3.0 GPA;
- The highest average GPA earned by the men’s football team in three years;
- The highest average GPA the men’s basketball team earned in the past decade;
- The third straight semester the men’s cross country team earned an average better than 3.2 GPA;
- The highest GPA earned by the men’s wrestling team in the past three years;
- The 13th straight semester the women’s soccer team earned an average GPA of 3.05 or better;
- The sixth straight semester the women’s softball team earned an average of more than a 2.95 GPA;
- The seventh straight semester the women’s track and field team earned an average of a 3.0 GPA or better the highest average GPA in the past 10 years;
- The women’s volleyball team earned the highest average GPA in six years and continued an eight-semester run of average GPAs of 3.1 or better;
- The fifth straight semester the women’s basketball team earned an average GPA of 3.0 or better;
- and the women’s cross country team earned the highest average GPA of the last ten years and had its eighth straight semester of an average GPA of 3.0 or better.
Overall, the athlete’s average GPAs were 3.1, compared to Highlands’ non-athlete average GPA of 2.97, and they earned the highest average GPA in the past eight years.
“I am proud of the academic performance of our student athletes,” said Highlands President Sam Minner. “These data affirm they are performing at a high level in the classroom. We also are doing great things on the field and court as evidenced by our most recent RMAC Women’s Track and Field Championship and naming Coach Bob DeVries the RMAC Coach of the Year.
“At HU, we fully embrace the Division II ideal of ‘Life In The Balance.’” Minner said. “To me, that means we want our student athletes to have a good academic experience, we want them to graduate with the lowest possible debt and go on to good jobs and lives of meaning and purpose, we want to give them the opportunity to play the sports they love, and, of course, we want to win. In my mind, those goals are in the proper order. All are important, but the priority does matter.”
Minner said data show the more engaged students are at a university, the more likely they are to perform better academically and graduate.
“Many studies have found a connection to a team, a coach, spending time with others on a long bus ride to play a game, supporting others when things do not go well and celebrating when they do powerfully engages our student athletes,” Minner said. “This is clearly demonstrated in their academic performance.”