Jan. 8, 2008
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois student-athletes in 17 sports programs combined to post a 3.062 combined grade point average this fall, marking the second-highest GPA for Huskie Athletics in school history, as well as the fifth straight semester above the 3.0 mark.
Northern Illinois has now surpassed the 3.0 mark in seven of the last eight terms dating back to the Spring of 2004. The Huskies compiled its best GPA ever last fall (3.074) with this semester's 3.062 a close second. In all, 10 Huskie teams earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better this fall, while 207 student-athletes currently own a GPA at or above the 3.0 standard.
"To be certain, Northern Illinois student-athletes continue to raise the bar when it comes to their performance in the classroom," said NIU Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Dr. Jim Phillips. "It is important not to lose sight of the hard work and commitment it takes to keep achieving these results. Congratulations must go not only to the student-athletes, but also to the Huskie coaches, to the Student-Athlete Academic Support Services (SAASS) staff and many others on campus who support the academic efforts of our students on a daily basis."
While softball (3.341), women's soccer (3.297) and gymnastics (3.294) earned the highest GPA marks for the semester just completed, volleyball and men's tennis climbed to the top of the charts in terms of cumulative grade point averages with volleyball checking in first among all NIU teams with a 3.300 mark, followed by men's tennis at 3.293. Women's soccer ranks third in cumulative GPA at 3.286, followed by gymnastics (3.273), softball (3.228) and women's cross country (3.184) in the four through six spots.
Four other Huskie teams join that group with a cumulative GPA above 3.0: women's basketball (3.174), women's golf (3.142), men's golf (3.133) and women's track and field (3.082).
The Northern Illinois football team enjoyed its third straight record-setting semester as the squad's cumulative GPA rose to an all-time high of 2.868 with 47 players - nearly half of the team - coming in with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. NIU had 33 football players exceed the 3.0 standard in the spring. The 2.868 mark tops the 2.797 GPA posted by the Huskie football team last spring.
Head Coach Ray Gooden's volleyball team also established a record-high cumulative GPA this fall with its 3.300 as did men's golf (3.133), softball (3.228) and baseball (2.810).
NIU's current total of 207 3.0 student-athletes is 36 more than hit that mark last spring. In addition to the 47 football players now carrying a 3.0 GPA, 20 members of the women's soccer team were on the 3.0 list along with 16 women's track and field participants and 15 gymnasts. Ten Huskie teams boasted 10 or more 3.0 students last fall.
Among those on the 3.0 list are nine Huskies who check in with perfect 4.0 cumulative GPAs: volleyball's Dani D'Ambrose and Jessica Schultz, Kaylee Walter and Jessica Statler from women's track and field, women's soccer players Annie Wyer and Karen Enockson, and Will McDermott (wrestling), Andrew Timmerman (football) and Kyle Knotek (men's soccer). An impressive 39 student-athletes earned straight A's - or a 4.0 GPA - for the fall 2007 semester.
"We are very pleased with these results from the fall, but there is always room for improvement," said Francine St. Clair, Senior Associate Athletic Director and Director of SAASS. "With the resources now available to us on campus and the new facilities in the Yordon Center, we have set our goals even higher going forward."
The Huskies' current string of 3.0 semesters began in fall 2005 with a 3.008 mark and was followed by record-setting efforts of 3.036 and 3.074 in spring and fall of 2006, respectively. Last spring, NIU student-athletes combined for a 3.030 GPA.
The complete list of NIU's 3.0 student-athletes follows (individuals carrying a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA indicated by *):
FALL 2007 NORTHERN ILLINOIS STUDENT-ATHLETES
3.0 LIST "HUSKIE SCHOLARS"
Dani D'Ambrose *
Women's Soccer (20)
Karen Enockson *
Men's Soccer (12)
Luis De La Cerda
Kyle Knotek *
Will McDermott *
Women's Track & Field (16)
Jessica Statler *
Kaylee Walters *
Andrew Timmerman *
Women's Basketball (10)
Women's Cross Country (5)
Men's Golf (6)
Men's Tennis (6)
Women's Golf (9)
Women's Tennis (4)
Men's Basketball (4)
-- NIU --