Lexington, KY--- The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced that 764 teams have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2015-2016 season. This number once again breaks the previous year's total of 757 and sets a new all-time high for this award. With this year's selection for the Sage Gators, the honor is a three-peat award for Head Coach Sandy Augstein-Collins' team, which earned the award for the in both 2013-2014 and again in 2014-2015.
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 2000-2001 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.
Girls high school led the way with the number of recipients of 260, an increase of 22 over last year. NCAA Division I honored 132 programs, while NCAA Division II reached a new record with a total of 119 honorees. NCAA Division III had the second-most honorees this year with a total of 140 schools, matching last year's record number.
Prior to 2015-2016, only 26 teams had attained the pinnacle of volleyball success in both earning the AVCA Team Academic Award and winning their respective collegiate national championship in the same academic year. This year, the AVCA is proud to recognize three programs that excelled in the classroom and on the court: Wheeling Jesuit University (NCAA Division II), California Lutheran University (NCAA Division III) and Columbia College (NAIA).
2015-16 BREAKDOWN BY CLASSIFICATION
Division Number of recipients
NCAA Division I Women 132
NCAA Division II Women 119
NCAA Division III Women 140
NAIA Women 54
Two-Year College 16
Collegiate Men 11
High School Girls 260 (1 sand)
High School Boys 23
College Beach 6
TOTAL RECIPIENT HISTORY