KALAMAZOO, Mich.—For the first time since the inception of the Academic Progress Rate, Western Michigan University athletics boasts three teams with perfect multi-year scores of 1,000.
"It's gratifying to see the NCAA recognize our athletic programs and our University's commitment to keeping academic achievement at the core of the student-athlete experience," says WMU President John M. Dunn. "Our students focus on winning scores both on and off the playing field, and our campus takes real pride in celebrating their achievements in both arenas."
Earlier this month the NCAA announced those teams that were honored with being in the top 10 percent of their respective sports for the multi-year academic performance ending in 2012-13. WMU had four teams recognized for being in the top 10—men's basketball, men's tennis, women's golf and women's gymnastics—marking the second most since APR began in 2004-05. The Broncos boasted five teams in the top 10 percent in 2005-06.
A first in program history
Three of those four teams earned perfect multi-year scores of 1,000—men's tennis, golf and gymnastics. It is the first time in program history that WMU has had three teams with perfect scores, besting the previous record of two, which was set with the multi-year scores ending in 2011-12. WMU is one of only three schools in the Mid-American Conference with three or more teams to have perfect scores, joining Kent State University and Ohio University.
WMU also joined KSU and Ohio in an elite group among conference competitors as the only three schools to have four or more teams earn top 10 percent honors.
Within the state, WMU surpassed three of its four Division I counterparts in teams to earn perfect scores and spots in the top 10 percent. Michigan State University had two teams in each category, while Central Michigan had one in each. Eastern Michigan University had two teams in the top 10 percent and one earn a perfect score.
A consistent level of success
"We are so very proud of our student-athletes, not only for the work they have done in the classroom this past year, but for maintaining that consistent level of success over the years," commented WMU athletic director Kathy Beauregard. "The academic successes our student-athletes enjoy are thanks in large part to the tireless work of Associate Athletic Director of Academic Services Jeff Stone and the commitment of our coaches to academic achievement. Their efforts cannot be measured, but should definitely not go without notice."
Basketball, tennis and gymnastics each matched their respective program highs in terms of multi-year scores. Men's hoops' score of 995 matched its 2007-08 score. Tennis had a perfect score for the second year in a row, and gymnastics boasted a perfect score for the fourth time in program history. Golf's previous multi-year high APR score was 993.
All four programs mentioned led the Mid-American Conference in multi-year APR scoring with tennis and basketball leading the conference outright. Two more programs ranked second in the MAC, women's soccer and women's tennis, with women's cross country ranking fourth. To put it into context, 12 of WMU's 15 sports sponsored by the MAC finished in the top half of the conference, while seven of those 15 sports finished in the top four.
The academic success continued in 2013-14. WMU boasted a collective grade point average of 3.12 during the fall semester and a 3.14 collective GPA this past spring. It marks the sixth-straight semester WMU has had a GPA of 3.10 or better. The Broncos have earned a composite GPA of 3.00 or better every semester since the fall of 2006 or 16 straight semesters.