Dominican, Grand Canyon share 2011-12 PacWest Academic Achievement Award
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – For the first time in the history of the Pacific West Conference, two institutions will share the PacWest Academic Achievement Award.
The PacWest made the announcement on Monday, July 16, and is the first in a series of academic honors to be unveiled during the month of July that will include the scholar athletes of the year in each sport, the overall men’s and women’s scholar athletes of the year, and the PacWest Academic All-Conference Team.
Dominican University of California and Grand Canyon University each produced a 3.26 grade point average to share the honor. It marks the third straight year Dominican has earned the award, while the Antelope athletic program claims the honor for the first time.
"What a tremendous year for our PacWest student-athletes in the classroom,” Commissioner Bob Hogue said. “To know that our conference grade point average went up by as much as did is a credit to everyone's hard work. Congratulations to the student athletes at Grand Canyon and Dominican for a well-deserved honor and for making history with a shared Academic Achievement Award in the PacWest."
The overall conference grade point average in the PacWest was a phenomenal 3.07 – up .05 from 2010-11. This also marks the second straight year that a half-dozen conference institutions boasted a GPA of at least 3.0, matching the record of six established last year.
“We are pleased and excited again to be recognized with this award, the third year in a row we have achieved this honor,” Terry Tumey, the outgoing Dominican director of athletics, said. “It is a compliment to the continued and consistent commitment of our student athletes, and the coaches, faculty members and staff, who support them.”
Grand Canyon and Dominican put together their respective 3.26 grade point averages to claim the only PacWest team championship earned in the classroom. They were the highest averages among the 10 current institutions in the league and edged Brigham Young University Hawaii by .09.
“The 2011-12 academic year is certainly a memorable one for Grand Canyon University,” Keith Baker, GCU’s director of athletics, said. “To share the conference Academic Achievement Award and to win the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup in the same year is extremely gratifying. It shows that our student-athletes are excelling both in the classroom and in their respective competitive arenas. It also is an indication that the university as a whole is committed to supporting our students in their overall campus experience.”
Baker indicated that winning the academic award was a team effort.
“The GCU faculty deserves a great deal of credit as well. We are the only Division II institution in the state of Arizona - that’s more than 13,000 square miles. Travel is a fact of life for our student athletes. Without the support of our compliance staff, academic counselors and the dedication of faculty who go the extra-mile to help accommodate our crazy scheduling issues, this would not be possible. It’s an example of great team effort.”
BYU-Hawaii claimed third place after producing a 3.17 grade point average that was up .03 from 2010-11, while California Baptist took fourth with a 3.13. Dixie State finished fifth (3.11) and Notre Dame de Namur placed sixth with a 3.09.
The grade point average for each school is based upon how each student athlete performed in the classroom during the 2011-12 academic year.
NDNU captured the inaugural PacWest Academic Achievement Award in 2007-08, while BYU-Hawaii won the honor in 2008-09. Dominican is the only institution to capture the award more than once after winning it outright in 2009-10 and 2010-11, and sharing the honor this season.