LAS VEGAS – New Mexico Highlands’ men’s cross-country team received the Rocky Mountain Athletics Conferences’ 2017-18 Brechler Award for the athletes’ academic performance.
Coach Bob DeVries’ team earned a collective GPA of 3.522, the best of all men’s cross-country squads in the conference. During the 2017-18 academic year, the cross-country runners posted a GPA average of 3.52.
“It’s a tough life being a cross country runner–training up to 70-80 miles per week; early mornings in the weight room; full class schedules, jobs,” DeVries said “It takes a special dedication and self-discipline. This is the first time any program here at Highlands has won this award, so that is pretty special. We are extremely proud of the men. This is another example of the quality student-athletes we have throughout the athletic program.”
DeVries said he knows from his own experience the dedication it takes to achieve success in the field and the classroom, having received RMAC Scholar-Athlete for cross country when he was a runner in 1980.
The award is named after Paul W. Brechler, a RMAC Commissioner from 1976-1990, who along with wife Wanda, were the first inductees into the RMAC Hall of Fame. Brechler was also the former athletic director of the University of Iowa and served as Commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference.
In addition to the men’s cross-country runners, athletes in each sport have earned high GPAs with 121 Cowboys and Cowgirls earning a 3.0 GPA or better last semester. Across all Highlands’ sports, the athletes’ average GPA was 3.1, compared to Highlands’ non-athlete average GPA of 2.97, and the athletes 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.”
Other 2017-18 Brechler award recipients are:
- Baseball – Colorado School of Mines 3.399 Jerod Goodale
- Men’s Basketball – Westminster 3.407 Norm Parrish
- Women’s Basketball – Regis 3.647 Molly Marrin
- Women’s Cross Country – Westminster 3.688 Dan Quinn
- Football – Chadron State 2.935 Jay Long
- Men’s Golf – Colorado Mesa 3.662 Matt Ward
- Women’s Golf – Colorado Mesa 3.584 Scott Hansen
- Men’s Lacrosse – Westminster 3.432 Mason Goodhand
- Women’s Lacrosse – Lindenwood 3.584 Jack Cribbin
- Men’s Soccer – Regis 3.555 Tony McCall
- Women’s Soccer – Regis 3.713 J.B. Belzer
- Softball – Regis 3.478 Daven Bond
- Men’s Swimming & Diving – Colorado School of Mines 3.372 Nate Rothman
- Women’s Swimming & Diving – Oklahoma Christian 3.511 Josh Davis
- Men’s Tennis – CSU-Pueblo 3.473 Mark Schleif
- Women’s Tennis – Colorado Christian 3.705 John Goodrich
- Men’s Indoor Track & Field – Westminster 3.291 Dan Quinn
- Women’s Indoor Track & Field – Westminster 3.597 Dan Quinn
- Men’s Outdoor Track & Field – Westminster 3.291 Dan Quinn
- Women’s Outdoor Track & Field – Westminster 3.597 Dan Quinn
- Volleyball – MSU Denver 3.661 Jenny Glenn
- Wrestling – Colorado School of Mines 3.478 Austin DeVoe