Biola Once Again Leads the NAIA in Scholar Team Award Winners

Track and field leads the pack in Scholar Athletes

Jul. 8, 2011 By Jeff Hoffman

For the second-straight season, Biola University led the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in teams receiving Scholar Team recognition as 18 of its 19 sports earned the honor by recording a team GPA of 3.0 or better. 

The NAIA recognized a record 934 teams from across the country with a 3.0 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale. The total was 77 more than last season. The team GPA must include all varsity student-athletes certified as eligible. Biola was one of three schools with 18 teams on the list, matching the total of Hastings College (Neb.) and Concordia University (Neb.). The Eagles had 16 teams honored last season, but saw women’s golf and men’s soccer joining the ranks this season.

“We are very pleased with the academic success of our student-athletes,” said Biola athletic director and men’s basketball coach Dave Holmquist. “To have 18 of our 19 teams with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher is a wonderful accomplishment. It reflects well not only upon our students, but their coaches as well, who have recruited ‘good fits’ for our University.”

Two of the most successful teams in their respective sports were also two of the most successful in the classroom. The women’s indoor track and field team posted a Biola-best 3.61 team GPA in addition to a program-best fourth-place finish at the NAIA Championships. The women’s cross country team, which finished as the NAIA National Runner-Up for the second consecutive season, recorded a 3.59 team GPA.

In fact, the six teams under the direction of track and cross country Head Coach Jonathan Zimmerman were among the top seven team GPAs at Biola. Women’s Outdoor track and field had the third-highest Biola GPA at 3.53 with the three men’s teams each recording a team GPA of 3.42. 

Sandwiched in the midst of the track and cross country teams was the women’s swim and dive team which had the fourth-highest GPA at 3.48.

Rounding out the rest were women’s soccer (3.41), men’s tennis (3.38), volleyball (3.28), women’s golf (3.23), men’s golf (3.22), women’s tennis (3.20), softball (3.13), men’s basketball (3.12), women’s basketball (3.09), men’s soccer (3.00) and men’s swimming and diving (3.00). 

Biola also had the most Scholar Teams in the Golden State Athletic Conference, leading second-place Azusa Pacific University by six. Vanguard University had 10 while Point Loma Nazarene University and The Master’s College each had nine. California Baptist University had seven teams honored while Westmont College had five and Fresno Pacific University had one.

Lee University’s (Tenn.) women’s golf team received the honor of Scholar-Team of the Year, recording a 3.86 team GPA. Joining Lee to round out the top five are Bryan (Tenn.) women’s cross country (3.83), Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) women’s cross country (3.81), Iowa Wesleyan volleyball (3.80) and tied for the fifth spot is Shorter (Ga.) women’s golf (3.79) and Hastings (Neb.) volleyball (3.79).

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