Rice Earns C-USA Institutional Excellence Award

July 10, 2015 By Kenny Bybee (kab10@rice.edu)

IRVING, Texas – For the eighth time in the past 10 years, Rice University student-athletes earned the Conference USA Institutional Excellence Award in 2014-15 by combining for an annual GPA of 3.246, the league office announced on Friday.

In addition to the overall award, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, men’s track and field and women’s track and field won the Sport Academic Awards for boasting the highest team grade point averages in the league in their respective sports in 2014-15.

The Sport Academic Award is given to the team in each conference-sponsored sport with the highest GPA for the academic year.

Women’s cross country posted the highest GPA amongst all qualifying C-USA teams with a 3.768 in 2014-15. Under the direction of head coach Jim Bevan, the Owls were named a USTFCCCA All-Academic Team and Katie Jensen and Cali Roper were each named to the C-USA All-Academic Team.

Also under Bevan’s watch, the women’s track and field squad won their second straight Sport Academic Award with a team GPA of 3.575. Belle MacFarlane was selected the C-USA Women’s Track and Field Scholar Athlete of the Year earlier this week and also joined Roper on the C-USA All-Academic Team.

Men’s track and field posted a 3.324 GPA in 2014-15 under head coach Jon Warren, winning the Sport Academic Award for the second time in the past three years. Evan Karakolis was recently named the C-USA Men’s Track and Field Scholar Athlete of the Year and also earned Capital One Academic All-American First-Team honors, in addition to being selected to the C-USA All-Academic squad. Joining Karakolis on the league all-academic team was Duncan Dickerson and Scott Filip.

Women’s basketball was another Rice repeat winner with their cumulative GPA of 3.289. Christal Porter, who earned the C-USA Postgraduate Scholarship, earned a spot on the C-USA All-Academic Team.

Men’s golf also won their second consecutive Sport Academic Award by posting a team GPA of 3.377 under head coach Justin Emil.

Led by head coach Mike Rhoades, men’s basketball earned their second straight Sport Academic Award by boasting a 3.151 grade point average. Recent graduate Seth Gearhart was selected the men’s basketball C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year and joined Marcus Jackson on the C-USA All-Academic Team.

Rice football led all C-USA teams with a 2.979 GPA under head coach David Bailiff. In addition to being named the football C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year, Brian Nordstrom was selected to the Capital One Academic All-American team and joined James Farrimond and James Hairston on the C-USA All-Academic Team.

The following is a list of the C-USA academic team award honorees in the sports which Rice competes:

Baseball – Middle Tennessee – 3.205
Men’s Basketball - *Rice – 3.151
Women’s Basketball - *Rice – 3.289
Men’s Cross Country – Louisiana Tech – 3.624
Women’s Cross Country – Rice – 3.768
Football – Rice – 2.979
Men’s Golf – *Rice – 3.377
Women’s Soccer – WKU – 3.680
Women’s Swimming – Marshall/*North Texas – 3.492
Men’s Tennis – Middle Tennessee – 3.519
Women’s Tennis - *UAB – 3.712
Men’s Track and Field – Rice – 3.324
Women’s Track and Field - *Rice – 3.575
Volleyball – Marshall – 3.700

*Repeat Winner





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