The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced that 764 teams have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2015-16 season. This number breaks the previous year's total of 757 to set an all-time high.
Earning the honor with a cumulative team GPA of 3.474 during the 2015-16 school year was the University of Evansville. Nine members of last year’s team recorded a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
“We are excited to see that our high emphasis on academics continues to provide results. It demonstrates that regardless of people's background, major, or country/language of origin, student-athletes can succeed at UE if they put up the work,” Purple Aces head coach Manolo Concepcion said.
Concepcion added that “There is a solid support system around each player to make sure that failure is not an option; a monitoring system that helps them maximize their potential. We are grateful for the dedication and work ethic of our team, and look forward towards continuing to focus on developing time management skills, effective study habits, and personal responsibility through a Guided-Discovery process that will help them self-discover the power of knowing how to learn in and off the court.”
The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.
"Congratulations to the coaches and institutions that won the 2016 AVCA Team Academic Award,” said AVCA executive director Kathy DeBoer. "It is no accident that a volleyball coaches association recognizes academic excellence as a team, rather than an individual, achievement. Players influence each other, both in execution on the court and discipline in the classroom.”
The AVCA Team Academic Award is the single largest award offered by quantity of schools, players, and coaches honored. Since the 2000-01 season, the number of recipients have increased every single year but two, while amassing a 477 team increase over the span of the last decade. Since the award's inception in 1993, the amount of award winners has increased from 62 to its current number of 764.
Over 1,000 different schools have earned the award in the program's 24-year history, with exactly 7,642 awards been given out in total.