Feb. 28, 2020
Athletes at Biola University know that life is about more than running the fastest, scoring the most points and winning the game. It’s about seeking to glorify God in everything they do — a heart-attitude that permeates every part of their lives.
This year, Biola athletics received three honorary awards from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), each of which highlight a different area that Eagles have striven to glorify God.
In June, the NAIA noticed the overall success of Biola’s athletics program when Biola finished 11th out of 300 schools in the NACDA/Learfield Sports Director’s Cup. The Learfield’s Sports Director’s Cup honors institutions that maintain a broad-based program that achieves success in a variety of both men’s and women’s sports. Only the highest performing athletic departments in the country receive recognition from the NACDA.
The NAIA also recognized 18 of Biola's 19 sports teams as "scholar teams," the most of any school in the NAIA last year. A team must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA to earn the prestigious honor. This year, two more teams than last year made the cut — women’s golf and men’s soccer. The two highest ranking teams at Biola included women’s indoor track and field with a 3.61 team GPA and women’s cross country — a NAIA National Runner-Up team — with a 3.59 team GPA.
In October, Biola athletes also received the Five Star Award in the NAIA’s Champions of Character program, indicating high marks in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. According to Dave Holmquist, Biola’s athletic director, coaches not only talk with their students about good character but seek to model that for their students.
“There are countless opportunities during a sports season to talk about what matters most in life,” said Holmquist. “Along with the discussions, our coaches have many chances to model what it means to pursue excellence in scholarship, character and fitness.”
The Champions of Character program seeks to instill sports-related character values in its member institutions while also honoring those schools that serve as good role models. Overall, the program looks for athletic departments that produce well-rounded athletes. Bethany Miller, women’s basketball coach and the Biola coordinator of the Champions of Character program, said she has witnessed the growth of her students.
"Because of the rigors of academic life, spiritual life and sport, Biola athletes must be dedicated and hard-working,” said Miller. “It is a blessing to watch their journey from freshman year through graduation as they mature in their beliefs and their personal character, and achieve their potential in their sport to bring glory to God."
Learn more about Biola athletics.
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