Every one of Northwestern State’s student-athletes is a record-setter.
For the fourth time in five semesters, the nearly 400 competitors in 14 NCAA Division I sports have combined to post a record-high grade point average, 3.13, during the recently completed Fall 2016 semester.
The figure is a significant jump over the previous high mark, 3.06, recorded during Fall 2015, said director of athletics Greg Burke. It also gave NSU Athletics a cumulative 3.089 GPA for the 2016 calendar year.
“Continuing to set grade point average records reinforces the importance NSU Athletics places on academic achievement every single day,” said Burke. “This accomplishment is a combination of the tone which is set as it relates to being academically successful, the support which is in place for our student-athletes to excel in the classroom, and ultimately, the determination on the part of every student-athlete to make academics a priority in their very busy and challenging lives. Congratulations to all – coaches, staff, student-athletes – involved in this success story.”
Women’s sports led the way. Lady Demon tennis posted a cumulative 3.76 GPA this fall, followed by softball (3.49) and soccer (3.37), said Jasmine Chievous, assistant athletic director for student-athlete development.
The Demon baseball team set an all-time high mark for NSU men’s sports with a 3.36 semester GPA. Also finishing above a cumulative 3.0 were Lady Demon basketball (3.23) and Lady Demon track and field/cross country (3.02).
Men’s track and field/cross country notched a 2.92 cumulative GPA, with Demon basketball at 2.90 and NSU football completing the list with a 2.89 by its 115 competitors.
The 3.13 cumulative GPA included 60 student-athletes posting a perfect 4.0 average, with 95 more at 3.0 or better, said Chievous.
The accomplishment came despite significant change in NSU Athletics’ academic support staff. Longtime assistant AD for student-athlete development Carrie Greene and her lead assistant, Kelee Roddy, both moved away in late spring. Betsy Nohavitza was promoted to academic coordinator with Alexis Guess named to replace her as assistant coordinator, and Chievous was hired to replace Greene.
“With quite a bit of transition in the student-athlete development office, it just goes to show that our student-athletes continue to keep their academics a high priority,” said Chievous. “Let us not forget the coaches we have, who all have a great passion to recruit great students who make our jobs that much more delightful. It is our hope to continue to keep this wheel turning in the upward direction.”
Nearly 100 student-athletes graduated in the spring and fall 2016 commencement exercises, including Demon basketball star Jalan West, selected to represent the spring graduates by introducing their commencement speaker, La. Gov. John Bel Edwards. NSU continued trending strongly positive on annual NCAA academic reports, and women’s tennis senior Natalya Krutova won Academic All-America honors, becoming the 14th student-athlete in school history to earn that prestigious award.