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July 24, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Eastern Washington ranks second in Division I academic honor roll

EWUEastern Washington coach Wendy Schuller’s team was named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s academic honor roll on Thursday. The WBCA Academic Top 25 annually recognizes all NCAA divisions and junior/community colleges for the highest GPAs among women’s basketball teams.

The Eagles ranked second among a list of 25 Division I squads with a GPA of 3.615. It’s the program’s 13th time being recognized, second-highest for EWU in the WBCA’s 19-year history of naming an honor roll.

Among DII schools, Seattle Pacific coach Julie Heisey’s team ranked 15th with a combined GPA of 3.572.

UMKC, which is coached by Marsha Frese, topped the DI list. UMKC ended its season with a loss against Seattle U in the quarterfinals of the WAC tournament in March.

EWU’s season ended in an overtime loss to Idaho State in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky conference tournament. The Eagles (16-14) were a preseason favorite to win the conference and won eight of its final 11 regular-season games. But Schuller said the team’s downfall in the tournament and season was a lack of focus on rebounding and consistent intensity.

Eagles junior G Lexie Nelson was a first-team all-Big Sky selection while sophomore G Hayley Hodgins was a conference honorable mention. Schuller graduated two seniors in C Laura Hughes and F Aubrey Ashenfelter, who played a program-record 122 games in her career.

Last week Schuller announced the hiring of Alex Earl as an assistant coach, completing the staff. Earl, a former G at ASU (2008-12) who’s from Portland, was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Lamar Community College in Colorado prior to joining EWU.

Here’s the WBCA’s full announcement regaining the academic honor roll:

WBCA Announces 2014 Academic Team Honor Rolls

ATLANTA (July 24, 2014) – The University of Missouri-Kansas City, Upper Iowa University, Westminster College, Mount Marty College and Snow College are the top honorees in their respective divisions on the WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Rolls for the 2013-14 season, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today.

The WBCA Academic Top 25 annually recognizes NCAA Division I, II and III; NAIA; and junior/community college women’s basketball teams across the nation that carry the highest combined grade point average (GPA) inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season. The 2013-14 season is the 19th in which the WBCA has compiled the honor rolls.

Here are the top honorees by division, their head coaches and combined GPAs:

Division Institution 2013-14 Head Coach Team GPA
NCAA Division I University of Missouri-Kansas City Marsha Frese 3.628
NCAA Division II Upper Iowa University Carol Russell 3.801
NCAA Division III Westminster College (Mo.) Tracey Braden 3.642
NAIA Mount Marty College Tom Schlimgen 3.746
Jr/Comm College Snow College Natalie Visger 3.584

The University of Missouri-Kansas City returns to the Academic Top 25 Honor Roll for the second time in program history and for the first time since 1998. Upper Iowa makes the list for the second consecutive year and for the fourth time overall.

Westminster College (Mo.) took the top spot for NCAA Division III for the first time in program history. Mount Marty College made the list for the 17th time in the award’s 19 year history. Snow College leads the Junior/Community College division for the second straight year.

“Being a student-athlete is a challenging feat, but at the same time it is also very rewarding and to see the GPA’s that these institutions have collected is impressive,” said WBCA COO Shannon Reynolds. “The WBCA congratulates all of these student-athletes and their coaches for their hard work and dedication.”

A team’s GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of hours attempted by all team members in the academic terms (semesters or quarters) that the season spans. Weighted grades are converted to a 4.0 scale. The GPA’s are rounded to the nearest thousandth of a point. Teams are nominated for the honor by a WBCA-member head coach. A team must have a 3.000 or better GPA to be nominated.

NCAA Division I
University of Missouri-Kansas City led NCAA Division I with a 3.628 GPA and was one of two institutions from the Western Athletic Conference to make the Academic Top 25 Honor Roll. UMKC finished the season with an 11-19 mark. The Kangaroos’ season ended following an 81-76 loss to Seattle U in the quarterfinals of the WAC Championship.

Three of the top 25 teams on the Division I WBCA Academic Top 25 honor roll earned a berth in the 2014 NCAA tournament.

Here is the complete 2013-14 WBCA Academic Top 25 for NCAA Division I (**NCAA tournament; *-left after season):

Rank Institution 2013-14 Head Coach

Team GPA

1

University of Missouri-Kansas City Marsha Frese

3.628

2

Eastern Washington University Wendy Schuller

3.615

3

University of Northern Colorado Jaime White

3.614

4

St. Francis College (NY) John Thurston

3.608

5

Western Illinois University JD Gravina

3.607

6

Drake University Jennie Baranczyk

3.571

7

University of Northern Iowa Tanya Warren

3.565

8

DePaul University** Douglas Bruno

3.559

9

Illinois State University Barb Smith

3.549

10

Utah Valley University Cathy Nixon

3.543

11

Florida Gulf Coast University** Karl Smesko

3.521

12

Houston Baptist University Donna Finnie

3.514

13

American University Megan Gebbia

3.510

14

University of Denver Kerry Cremeans

3.498

15

Northern Kentucky University Dawn Plitzuweit

3.484

16

Austin Peay State University Carrie Daniels

3.465

17

Lehigh University Susan Troyan

3.451

18

Belmont University Cameron Newbauer

3.433

19

South Dakota State University Aaron Johnston

3.421

20

Cornell University Dayna Smith

3.420

21

Arizona State University** Charli Turner Thorne

3.412

22

Colorado State University Ryun Williams

3.399

23

Yale University Chris Gobrecht

3.397

24

Brown University Jean Marie Burr*

3.394

25

Bowling Green State University Jennifer Roos

3.384

NCAA Division II
Upper Iowa University posted a GPA of 3.801 to lead all NCAA Division II programs. The Peacocks ended the season with a 74-73 loss to Minot State University in the NSIC/Sanford Health Basketball Tournament to close the season with a 5-22 record.

Five of the 25 teams that earned a spot on the honor roll advanced to the NCAA Division II tournament.

Below is the complete 2013-14 WBCA Academic Top 25 for NCAA Division II (** – NCAA tournament; * – left after season):

Rank Institution 2013-14 Head Coach

Team GPA

1

Upper Iowa University Carol Russell

3.801

2

Ohio Dominican University Lynsey Warren

3.793

3

Lindenwood University James “Tony” Francis

3.759

4

Colorado Mesa University** Taylor Wagner

3.699

5

University of Indianapolis** Constantin Popa

3.657

6

Montana State University Billings** Kevin Woodin

3.656

7

Lubbock Christian University Steve Gomez

3.648

8

Saginaw Valley State University Jamie Pewinski

3.61

9

Ashland University Sue Ramsey

3.605

10

Minnesota State University Moorhead Karla Nelson

3.604

11

Drury University** Steve Huber*

3.599

12

Winona State University Scott Ballard

3.593

13

Southwest Baptist University Todd Voss*

3.584

14

Northwood University Jeff Curtis

3.582

15

Seattle Pacific University Julie Heisey

3.572

16

Southern New Hampshire University Karen Pinkos

3.569

17

University of Minnesota Duluth Annette Wiles

3.563

18

Lee University Marty Rowe

3.559

19

Merrimack College Monique LeBlanc

3.552

20

Gannon University** Jim Brunelli

3.550

21

Minnesota State University, Mankato Emilee Thiesse

3.540

22

University of Findlay James Wiedie

3.531

23

Rockhurst University Larry Park

3.523

24

Michigan Technological University Kimberly Cameron

3.522

25

Trevecca Nazarene University Gary Van Atta

3.521

Division III
Westminster College (Mo.), the only team from the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to be ranked in the WBCA Academic Top 25 Poll recorded a 3.642 GPA to top the list. After starting the season 2-6 the Blue Jays finished the season 13-12, falling to Spalding 70-64 in the semifinals of the SLIAC Tournament.

Seven programs participated in the NCAA Division III tournament.

Below is the complete 2014 WBCA Academic Top 25 for NCAA Division III (** – NCAA tournament; * – left after season):

Rank Institution 2013-14 Head Coach

Team GPA

1

Westminster College Tracey Braden

3.642

2

Chatham University Sandra Rectenwald

3.631

3

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Shirley Egner

3.608

4

The College of New Jersey Dawn Henderson

3.607

5

Emerson College Bill Gould

3.602

6

Elmira College Shannon Howley

3.593

7

Waynesburg University Sam Jones

3.585

8

Ithaca College** Dan Raymond

3.562

9

Martin Luther College Larry Czer*

3.561

10

Beloit College Jennifer McCormick

3.541

11

Kalamazoo College Katie Miller

3.535

12

Castleton State College** Tim Barrett

3.532

T13

Hope College Brian Morehouse

3.527

T13

University of Minnesota, Morris Tim Grove

3.527

15

Cabrini College** Kate Pearson

3.521

T16

Haverford College Bobbi Cabrey-Morgan

3.52

T16

University of Northwestern** Aaron Kahl

3.52

18

Hardin-Simmons University Melanie Chonko

3.513

19

Washington University in St. Louis** Nancy Fahey

3.505

20

University of Pittsburgh-Bradford Patrick Daniel

3.495

21

Carthage College** Tim Bernero

3.491

22

King’s College Brian Donoghue

3.478

23

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh** Brad Fischer

3.476

24

Utica College Michele Davis

3.471

25

University of Redlands Rich Murphy

3.452

NAIA
Mount Marty College, which has appeared in the Academic Top 25 list in the NAIA 16 previous years, comes in at No. 1 for the first time this year with a 3.746 GPA. The Lancers’ highest ranking on the list prior to this year was third in 2005. Mount Marty College won three of its final four games including a 76-63 win against Nebraska Wesleyan to close out the season with a 13-17 overall record.

Thirteen of the 25 programs that made the 2014 Academic Top 25 also played in either the NAIA Division I or Division II tournament.

Below is the complete 2014 WBCA Academic Top 25 for the NAIA (** – NAIA tournament; * – left after season):

Rank Institution 2013-14 Head Coach

Team GPA

1

Mount Marty College Tom Schlimgen

3.746

2

Northwestern College** Chris Yaw

3.679

3

Cardinal Stritch University** John Pfaffl

3.631

4

Westminster College** Shelley Jarrard

3.607

5

Indiana University South Bend Steve Bruce

3.584

6

Bethel College (Fla.) Jody Martinez*

3.555

7

Clarke University Don Adams

3.535

8

Huntington University** Lori Culler

3.523

9

Concordia University (Neb.)** Drew Olson

3.493

10

St. Ambrose University** Krista Van Hauen

3.490

11

Point Park University** Tony Grenek

3.467

12

Lewis-Clark State College** Brian Orr

3.464

13

Saint Xavier University** Bob Hallberg

3.448

14

University of Great Falls Bill Himmelberg

3.446

15

Bethel College (Kan.) Mark Fox

3.434

16

Roosevelt University** Robyn Scherr-Wells

3.416

17

Grand View University Garey Smith

3.382

18

University of St. Francis Samantha Quigley

3.379

19

Indiana Wesleyan University** Steve Brooks

3.373

20

Central Methodist University James Arnold

3.366

21

Dillard University Norbert Rome

3.355

22

University Rio Grande David Smalley

3.348

23

Vanguard University** Russ Davis

3.347

24

Ottawa University Bruce Tate

3.316

25

William Woods University** Dan Chapla

3.208

Junior/Community College
Snow College went 10-4 at home on the season, while finishing with a 13-15 record. The Snow Badgers beat Utah State University Eastern in two of the three regular season meetings, including a 95-93 win in the final game of the season.

One team advanced to the NJCAA Tournament that qualified for the Academic Top 25.

Below is the complete 2014 WBCA Academic Top 25 for Junior/Community College (** – NJCAA Division I *** – NJCAA Division II tournament):

Rank Institution 2013-14 Head Coach

Team GPA

1

Snow College Natalie Visger

3.584

2

Frank Phillips College Eric Rodewald

3.531

3

Sheridan College Frank McCarthy

3.497

4

Minnesota West Community & Technical College Michael Fury

3.407

5

Ellsworth Community College Ed Geitz

3.401

6

Lincoln College Carol Wilson

3.359

7

Northwest College Janis Beal

3.326

8

Mesa Community College*** Kori Stephenson

3.28

9

Santa Fe College Chanda Stebbins

3.112

10

John Wood Community College Norman Rodriguez

3.051


About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association promotes women’s basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls.  For more information on the WBCA, visit wbca.org.

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