ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Thirteen members of the University of New Mexico baseball team were named Academic All-Mountain West the conference announced Monday. It’s the second most in program history, behind only the 16 the team had last year, and the second most by a men’s team this spring, behind only track and field’s 16.
“This is a reflection of our leadership at UNM,” head coach Ray Birmingham said. “Athletic Director Paul Krebs demands excellence in the classroom and provides every instrument to achieve this goal. That mindset is a common one at UNM. Excellence in the classroom is as much a goal for us as excellence on the field. They go hand-in-hand here at UNM.”
There were 124 total student-athletes at UNM honored during the spring season.
Seven student-athletes on the baseball team were Academic All-Mountain West for a second time: seniors Kevin Baumgartner, Jonathan Cuellar and Chase Harris, and sophomores Drew Bridges, Taylor Duree, Sam Haggerty and Jared Holley. Joining them are senior John Pustay, junior transfers Jake Cole and Aaron Siple, and freshmen Danny Collier, Kirby McGuire and Andre Vigil.
Bridges (3.87) and Haggerty (3.81), both majoring in business administration, led the honorees in terms of GPA.
In order to be eligible student-athletes must have completed at least one academic semester, have a cumulative GPA at UNM of 3.0 or better, and competed in at least 50 percent of the team’s games, with some latitude given for injuries and pitchers.
In Birmingham’s seven years at the helm of the program, the baseball team has had 70 student-athletes named Academic All-Mountain West. In the previous eight years the program only had 54 honored.
Overall, a league-record 897 student-athletes were named to the spring 2014 Academic All-Mountain West team. In addition to baseball, spring sports include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, softball, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field. The mark surpasses the previous MW record of 783 spring semester honorees, set during the 2010-11 academic year.