Grace’s athletic programs have been recognized for their academic success during the 2015-16 year.
Sixteen teams were named NAIA Scholar-Teams, breaking a program record for Grace’s department. The total also was tied for 13th-most in the NAIA.
Headlining Grace’s academic awards’ haul was the Lady Lancers’ soccer team. The Michael Voss-coached squad claimed an academic national championship with a 3.79 GPA, ranking highest among all women’s soccer programs. The squad was also the highest-ranked Crossroads League team, regardless of sport. The Lady Lancers have ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 nationally in the sport for the past six seasons.
Overall, Grace placed nine teams in their sport’s top 25 and five teams in the top 10.
“The academic excellence that our athletic programs achieve can be credited to the commitment and dedication of our coaches and student-athletes,” said Grace Athletic Director Chad Briscoe. “Our programs strive for Christian excellence in all areas, which includes both the academic and athletic realms. The Scholar-Team distinction for our programs is a tremendous reflection on Grace College. Our faculty play an integral role in the academic and spiritual growth of our student-athletes, and we are incredibly thankful for their work.”
Women’s tennis, coached by Scott Moore, boasted a 3.68 GPA to rank sixth in their sport. Grace’s track programs excelled at the national level. Women’s indoor track and field had a 3.65 GPA under coach Jeff Raymond, ranking sixth in their sport, and the women’s outdoor team was 11th with a 3.59 GPA. The men’s indoor team was seventh nationally in their sport with a 3.30 GPA, and the men’s outdoor team was eighth in the nation.
Women’s cross country (3.59 GPA) under Raymond, and the volleyball team under coach Katie Van Hofwegen (3.54) both topped 3.50 GPAs as a team and ranked in the top 25 of their sport.
The men’s basketball team, led by Jim Kessler, had a team GPA of 3.27 to rank No. 15 in the sport.
Other Scholar-Teams for Grace include: softball (3.40), women’s basketball (3.35), men’s golf (3.29), men’s cross country (3.20), men’s tennis (3.13), men’s soccer (3.08) and baseball (3.07).
To see the complete listing of NAIA Scholar-Teams sorted by GPA and school, click here. Overall, 1,590 teams earned the Scholar-Team distinction from the NAIA.
Click here to see an infographic.