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ATLANTA (July 17, 2012) - University of Wisconsin, Green Bay; Drury University; Northland College; Northwestern College and Salt Lake Community College are the top honorees in their respective divisions on the WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Rolls for the 2011-12 season, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced today.

The WBCA Academic Top 25 annually recognizes NCAA Divisions I, II and III; NAIA; and junior/community college women's basketball teams across the nation that carry the highest combined grade point averages (GPAs) inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season. The 2011-12 season is the 17th in which the WBCA has produced the honor rolls.

Here are the top honorees by division, their head coaches and combined GPAs:

  Division Institution 2011-12 Head Coach Team GPA
  NCAA Division I Green Bay Matt Bollant 3.616
  NCAA Division II Drury Steve Harold 3.709
  NCAA Division III Northland Bill Wilson 3.706
  NAIA Northwestern (Iowa) Chris Yaw 3.657
  Junior/Community College Salt Lake Betsy Specketer 3.379


Drury and Salt Lake are No. 1 on the NCAA Division II and junior/community college honor rolls respectively for the third time. It is Drury's eighth appearance on the NCAA Division II honor roll; and its first since a No. 2 ranking in 2006. The Lady Panthers finished atop the Division II standings in 2004 and 2005. Salt Lake is making its 10th appearance on the junior/community college honor. The Bruins were No. 1 in the junior/community college standings in 2000 and 2003. This season marks Green Bay's second No. 1 finish on the NCAA Division I honor roll; its first occurring in 2001. Meanwhile, Northland and Northwestern (Iowa) finish atop the NCAA Division III and NAIA standings respectively for the first time.

"I look forward to the release of the Academic Top 25 each summer," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Because our society places so much emphasis on winning games and championships, it is a refreshing change of pace when we recognize those teams that excel in the classroom.

"Like winning on the court, academic success on a team level does not happen by accident. It requires a group of student-athletes who realize the importance of education and earning their degrees, coaches who expect and encourage their players to attend class and study, and administrators who provide strong academic support programs for their athletes," said Bass.

"The teams composing the Academic Top 25 each year are always the real winners in women's college basketball."

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.

NCAA Division I

Green Bay leads the 2012 NCAA Division I honor roll with a 3.616 GPA. It is the 10th appearance on the Division I honor roll for the Phoenix and their third under former head coach Matt Bollant, who left after five seasons to become head coach at the University of Illinois. The Horizon League champions finished the season with a 33-2 record, losing to Kentucky, 65-62, in the second round of the NCAA Kingston Regional.

Five of the top 25 teams on the Division I honor roll earned a berth in the 2012 NCAA tournament.

Here is the complete 2012 WBCA Academic Top 25 for NCAA Division I (**-NCAA tournament; *-left after season):

  Rank Institution 2011-12 Head Coach Team GPA
  1 Green Bay** Matt Bollant* 3.616
  2 South Dakota State** Aaron Johnston 3.61
  3 DePaul** Douglas Bruno 3.604
  4 South Dakota Ryun Williams* 3.595
  5 American Matt Corkery 3.563
  6 Youngstown State Robert Boldon 3.55
  7 Utah Valley Cathy Nixon 3.524
  8 North Dakota Gene Roebuck* 3.505
  9 Florida Gulf Coast** Karl Smesko 3.474
  10 St. Francis (N.Y.) Brenda Milano*
3.456
  11 Montana State Tricia Binford 3.435
  12 Northern Colorado Jaime White 3.421
  13 Western Carolina Karen Middleton 3.406
  14 (tie) New Mexico Yvonne Sanchez 3.403
  14 (tie) Northern Iowa Tanya Warren 3.403
  16 North Dakota State Carolyn DeHoff 3.402
  17 Montana Robin Selvig 3.399
  18 Indiana-Purdue, Fort Wayne Chris Paul 3.398
  19 Bradley Paula Buscher* 3.396
  20 Denver Erik Johnson* 3.387
  21 Bucknell Kathy Fedorjaka* 3.382
  22 Yale Chris Gobrecht 3.352
  23 Sacred Heart** Edward Swanson 3.349
  24 Bowling Green Curt Miller* 3.347
  25 Eastern Washington Wendy Schuller 3.337


NCAA Division II


Drury University, coached by Steve Harold, not only finishes atop the Division II honor roll, but its 3.709 team GPA is the highest of any team in all five divisional honor rolls. The Panthers finished the season with a 20-8 record. They lost to Ferris State in the first round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional.

Eleven of the 26 teams making the honor roll earned postseason berths in the NCAA Division II tournament, with No. 18 Ashland advancing to the national championship game.

Here is the complete 2012 WBCA Academic Top 25 for NCAA Division II (**-NCAA tournament; *-left after season):

  Rank Institution 2011-12 Head Coach Team GPA
  1 Drury** Steve Harold 3.709
  2 King (Tenn.) Josh Thompson 3.692
  3 Lake Erie Robert Booher 3.684
  4 Fort Hays State Tony Hobson 3.628
  5 Rockhurst Larry Park 3.586
  6 Seton Hill Ferne Labati 3.58
  7 Lindenwood James Francis 3.567
  8 Fort Lewis** Mark Kellogg* 3.562
  9 Holy Family** Mark Miller 3.558
  10 Michigan Tech Kimberly Cameron 3.547
  11 Minnesota State Mankato** Pam Gohl* 3.538
  12 Merrimack Monique LeBlanc 3.532
  13 Minnesota State Moorhead Karla Nelson 3.527
  14 Gannon** Cleve Wright 3.526
  15 Winona State Scott Ballard 3.513
  16 Maryville (Mo.)** Chris Ellis 3.507
  17 Wisconsin-Parkside** Jennifer Knight-Kenesie 3.498
  18 Ashland** Sue Ramsey 3.481
  19 Montana State Billings Kevin Woodin 3.476
  20 Seattle Pacific Julie Van Beek 3.448
  21 (tie) Franklin Pierce** Stephen Hancock 3.446
  21 (tie) Wayne State** Chris Kielsmeier 3.446
  23 Concordia-St. Paul Paul Fessler 3.44
  24 Cal State East Bay Suzy Barcomb 3.427
  25 (tie) St. Thomas Aquinas Kim Lusk 3.415
  25 (tie) Minnesota Duluth** Annette Wiles 3.415


NCAA Division III


Northland College, with a division-best 3.706 GPA, is making its fourth appearance on the NCAA Division III honor roll; its first at No. 1. Coached by Bill Wilson, the Lumberjills finished the season with a 12-13 record.

Seven of the top 25 teams earned a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament.

Here is the complete 2012 WBCA Academic Top 25 for NCAA Division III (**-NCAA tournament; *-left after season):

  Rank Institution 2011-12 Head Coach Team GPA
  1 Northland Bill Wilson 3.706
  2 Case Western Reserve Jennifer Reimer 3.641
  3 Hope Brian Morehouse 3.62
  4 Messiah** Michael Miller 3.589
  5 Gustavus Adolphus Mickey Haller* 3.577
  6 Ithaca** Dan Raymond 3.568
  7 St. Lawrence Dan Roiger 3.549
  8 Simpson** Brian Niemuth 3.539
  9 Emerson Bill Gould 3.531
  10 Centenary (N.J.) Justin Phoenix* 3.522
  11 Calvin John Ross 3.518
  12 Virginia Wesleyan Stephany Dunmyer 3.513
  13 Westminster (Mo.)** Tracey Braden 3.503
  14 (tie) Northwestern (Minn.) Aaron Kahl 3.487
  14 (tie) Westminster (Pa.) Rosanne Scott 3.487
  16 Luther Amanda Bailey 3.485
  17 Carnegie Mellon Jacquie Hullah 3.479
  18 Grinnell Kate Gluckman 3.473
  19 Saint Mary's (Ind.) Jennifer Henley 3.464
  20 Central (Iowa) Michael Jacobsma 3.463
  21 Gallaudet Brendan Stern 3.461
  22 Elms** Laura Habacker 3.452
  23 Wisconsin-Stevens Point** Shirley Egner 3.45
  24 Immaculata Patricia Canterino 3.44
  25 King's (Pa.)** Brian Donoghue 3.418


NAIA


Three-time NAIA Division II national champion Northwestern College (Iowa) makes its ninth appearance and first atop the NAIA honor roll with a 3.657 team GPA. The Raiders, under the direction of first-year head coach Chris Yaw, finished their championship season with a 28-7 record.

Seventeen of the top 25 teams - seven in NAIA Division I and ten in NAIA Division II - earned berths in the NAIA national tournaments in their respective divisions.

Here is the complete 2012 WBCA Academic Top 25 for NAIA (***-NAIA Division I tournament; **-NAIA Division II tournament; *-left after season):

  Rank Institution 2011-12 Head Coach Team GPA
  1 Northwestern (Iowa)** Chris Yaw 3.657
  2 Shorter*** Vic Mitchell 3.601
  3 Trevecca Nazarene Gary Van Atta 3.549
  4 Cornerstone Carla Fles* 3.544
  5 Campbellsville*** Ginger Colvin 3.525
  6 Davenport** Mike Williams 3.507
  7 Indiana Wesleyan** Steve Brooks 3.496
  8 (tie) Corban** Terry Williams 3.489
  8 (tie) Saint Xavier*** Robert Hallberg 3.489
  10 Union (Ky.)** Tim Curry 3.476
  11 Bethel College (Ind.)** Jody Martinez 3.449
  12 Great Falls Bill Himmelberg 3.447
  13 Mount Marty Tom Schlimgen 3.432
  14 Saint Ambrose Krista Van Hauen 3.424
  15 Ashford Amy Eagan 3.417
  16 William Woods*** Dan Chapla 3.401
  17 Warner Pacific Matt Gregg 3.393
  18 (tie) Concordia (Neb.)** Drew Olson 3.37
  18 (tie) Grand View** Garey Smith 3.37
  20 Point Park** Tony Grenek 3.367
  21 Georgetown (Ky.)*** Andrea McCloskey 3.363
  22 Saint Mary (Kan.)** Michael Basler 3.36
  23 Indiana-South Bend Steve Bruce 3.352
  24 Freed-Hardeman*** Dale Neal 3.32
  25 Lee*** Marty Rowe 3.318


Junior/Community College


Salt Lake Community College is making its 10th appearance, and third at No. 1, in the junior/community honor roll, which features only 12 teams due to the limited number of eligible nominations received. The Bruins, coached by Betsy Specketer, ended the season with a 24-5 record after losing in the NJCAA Region 18 finals.

Three of the 12 teams making the honor roll earned berths in the NJCAA Division II national tournament.

Here is the complete 2012 WBCA Academic Top 25 for junior/community colleges (**-NJCAA Division II tournament; *-California Community College Athletic Association tournament):

  Rank Institution 2011-12 Head Coach Team GPA
  1 Salt Lake (Utah) Betsy Specketer 3.379
  2 Northwest (Wyo.) Janis Beal 3.363
  3 Minnesota West Michael Fury 3.359
  4 Mesa (Ariz.)** Kori Stephenson 3.276
  5 Lon Morris (Texas) Brenita Williams 3.233
  6 Seward County (Kan.) Toby Wynn 3.164
  7 Sheridan College (Wyo.) Frank McCarthy 3.161
  8 Kishwaukee (Ill.)** Karen Wiley 3.133
  9 Ventura (Calif.)* Ned Mircetic 3.128
  10 Cypress (Calif.)* Margaret Mohr 3.115
  11 Johnson County (Kan.)** Benjamin Conrad 3.079
  12 Ellsworth (Iowa) Ed Geitz 3.061

 

About the WBCA:
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 as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.