AVCA Breaks Record With 533 Teams Honored for Academic Excellence
Total overrides the previous mark of 481 schools set in 2010-11
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 20, 2012) – For the fifth consecutive year the Williams College volleyball team has earned Team Academic honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Head coach Christi Kelsey's Ephs have now been honored each of her first three years at Williams.
"It is a great honor for our team to be recognized as one of the recipients of the 2011-2012 AVCA Team Academic award," stated Kelsey. "I am incredibly proud of the hard work our group has shown this past year both in the classroom and on the court. I know that our team takes a lot of pride in their academic endeavors throughout the entire school year, so it is great for them to be recognized collectively by the AVCA for their efforts."
In February of 2012 Williams became just one of four New England Division III teams to win a fourth consecutive New England Volleyball Association (NEWVA) Team Academic Award.
The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale. "Many coaches tell us they take more pride in and hear more positive feedback about winning the AVCA Team Academic Award than anything else they do all year," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "While it is undeniable that the sport we coach is zero-sum on the scoreboard, it is a tool for empowerment on other fronts. The 533 coaches whose teams won this academic award understand the value of both playing to win and winning through play. A well-deserved congratulations to each team and coach!"
A year ago Kelsey's young Ephs had but one senior on the team and Williams finished 21-19 overall. The 2012 season begins with a match vs. Plymouth State at the Endicott College Tournament in Beverly, MA on September 7th at 7:00 PM.
The AVCA has announced that 533 teams have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2011-2012 season. This number breaks the previous year's record total of 481.
The Team Academic Award has become one of the AVCA's fastest growing awards programs, seeing an impressive surge in teams honored over the past several years. Since the 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients has increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 200% increase over the span of the last decade.
Since the award's inception in 1993, the total number of awards has risen by an astounding 760%.
NCAA Division I recorded their highest-ever total number of recipients, honoring 102 programs while Division II easily surpassed last year's record of 57 winners with 67 this year. Division III also set a new record with 90 winners and the high school division increased their all-time high of 192 recipients to 220.
Finally, the NCAA men broke new ground landing a record seven schools on this year's AVCA Team Academic Award list. Prior to 2011-12, only 13 teams had attained the pinnacle of volleyball success in both earning the AVCA Team Academic Award and winning their respective collegiate national championship in the same academic year.
This year, the AVCA is proud to recognize three programs -- Concordia University-St. Paul (NCAA Division II), Cowley College (NJCAA Division II) and Clearwater Christian College (NCCAA Division II) – all three of whom excelled in the classroom and on the court. Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 20-year history, with exactly 4,827 awards been given out.
Only two institutions, both high schools, have earned the distinction all 20 years: Jonesboro [AR] High School and Ross S. Sterling High School, Baytown, Texas.
Breakdown by Division (% of teams honored*):
NCAA Division I Women 102 19.14% NCAA
Division II Women 67 12.57%
NCAA Division III Women 90 16.89%
NAIA Women 33 6.19%
Two-Year College Women 13 2.44%
NCCAA Women 1 0.19%
NCAA Collegiate Men 7 1.31%
High School (Girls and Boys) 220 41.28%
(Girls 198 - Boys 22)
* Percentage is based on each category's breakdown
of the total 2011-2012 Team Academic recipients.
ABOUT AVCA The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by Associations International. The mission of the AVCA is to develop and grow the sport of volleyball; with a membership of over 5,000 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and developing the sport. Members are comprised of national and international coaches, collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as club directors. Other members include former players, officials, media members and other friends of volleyball. As a group, the AVCA is committed to the development, growth, advancement and publicity of volleyball throughout the world. Further information is available at www.avca.org.