published Monday, May 12th, 2014

UTC athletics surges in classroom

As well as things have gone on the athletic field for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga recently, there was even more success in the classroom. The UTC athletic department has reported that its student-athletes compiled a school record 3.07 grade-point average for the just completed spring semester, surpassing the 3.0 mark for the first time in program history.

"This is such a tremendous accomplishment, and I can't express how proud I am of our student-athletes," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics David Blackburn said. "They put in countless hours in practice and in the weight room, and that same dedication and focus is evident in their academic endeavors."

UTC athletics flirted with a 3.0 GPA last fall, scoring a then-record 2.993. For the spring semester 12 Mocs programs had better than a 3.0 GPA and nearly half of UTC's 276 student-athletes (135) made the Dean's List with a 3.2 GPA or higher.

Mocs athletes set two other school records as well with 176 making the AD's Honor Roll and 37 scoring a perfect 4.0 GPA, including Southern Conference Women's Golfer of the Year Jordan Britt, SoCon Women's Basketball Player of the Year Taylor Hall, 2012 U.S. Amateur Champion Steven Fox, All-American and SoCon Cross Country/Track & Field Champion Teghan Henderson, SoCon Women's Golf Champion Emily McLennan and SoCon Wrestling Champion Alex Hudson.

"I also think it is also important to point out the work of our coaches and Student Support Services staff," Blackburn said "A lot goes into reaching a goal like this, and our coaches should be commended for creating a culture in their programs that promote academic success.

"They set the tone in the way they recruit and run their programs, while our Academic Staff does an outstanding job supporting each of our student-athletes."

The women's cross country team led all programs with a department record 3.85 GPA. That just beat men's cross country's previous mark of 3.82 set last spring. The women's team also had a program record 18 on the Dean's List while eight of the runners had a 4.0.

Men's basketball (2.59), men's cross country/track & field (2.71) and women's golf (3.82) all set new program bests for team GPA, while women's basketball team had a program record 11 on the Dean's List and softball tied a program record with 21 on the A.D. Honor Roll.

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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