New Mexico garners no. 8 spot in WBCA Academic Top 25 rankings
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  07/11/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

July 11, 2011

Albuquerque, N.M. --- The University of New Mexico Lobos women's basketball program has earned the no. 8 spot in its division on the 2011 WBCA Academic Top 25 list with a team grade point average of 3.454.

That GPA not only places the Lobos within the top 10 academic programs in the nation, but also makes them the only Mountain West Conference affiliate to break into the top 25 on the NCAA Division I list.

“This is a tremendous honor for our program,” said first year coach Yvonne Sanchez. “When Coach Flanagan started with this program, he cared just as much about academics as he did about basketball, and we want to continue that tradition.

"It's an honor for our university and the professors who do a terrific job educating our student-athletes, and it's an honor for the state of New Mexico. We want to recognize Coach Flanagan for kicking off a tradition of academic excellence, and we definitely want to continue that tradition," Sanchez finished.

South Dakota State, under head coach Aaron Johnson, sits atop the NCAA Division I list for the fourth time with a team GPA of 3.666, making their seventh-straight appearance in the Division I standings and, counting two appearances in the Division II standings, their ninth Academic Top 25 appearance overall.

"With the increased importance and scrutiny of the APR (academic progress rate) in the landcape of intercollegiate athletics, these remarkable teams are setting the bar for academic excellence," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Congratulations to all these STUDENT-athletes and their coaches."

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 GPAs 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.

Here is the complete 2011 WBCA Academic Top 25 for NCAA Division I:

Institution 2010-11 Head Coach Team GPA
1 South Dakota State University Aaron Johnston 3.666
2 Bucknell University Kathy Fedorjaka 3.632
3 DePaul University Douglas Bruno 3.582
4 Creighton University Jim Flanery 3.527
5 Utah Valley University Cathy Nixon 3.524
6 Indiana State University Teri Moren 3.518
7 University of Hartford Jennifer Rizzoti 3.456
8 University of New Mexico Don Flanagan 3.454
9 University of Dayton James Jabir 3.445
10 Canisius College Terrence Zeh 3.441
11 Bowling Green State University Curt Miller 3.433
12 Montana State University - Bozeman Tricia Binford 3.419
13 University of Montana Robin Selvig 3.411
14 University of Akron Jodi Kest 3.405
15 University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Sandy Botham 3.402
16 Oakland University Becky Francis 3.399
17 Youngstown State University Robert Boldon 3.395
18 University of South Dakota Ryun Williams 3.390
19 University of Wisconsin, Green Bay Matthew Bollant 3.378
20 University of Maryland, Baltimore County Phil Stern 3.374
21 Lipscomb University Frank Bennett 3.373
T22 University of North Dakota Gene Roebuck 3.358
T22 University of Northern Colorado Jaime White 3.358
24 University of Evansville Oties Epps 3.340
25 University of Denver Erik Johnson 3.335

For a full release, including comprehensive lists of top ranked programs from the Division II, III and junior/community college categories, please visit the following link: Top Honors Announced in 2011 WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll.

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 in all of its aspects as a sport for women and girls. For more information about the WBCA, visit wbca.org.