The National Wrestling Coaches Association has announced its annual Division III Scholar Team Award and the NWCA Individual All-Academic wrestling team for the 2011-12 wrestling season.
The 2012 NWCA Division III Scholar Team Awards are given out to twenty-five teams for this academic year, with team GPAs ranging from 3.73 to 3.16.
Receiving this year’s top honor is Augsburg College, coached by Mark Matzek, they hold a 3.734 team GPA. Rounding out the Top 5 are: Olivet College (3.59), Johnson and Wales University (3.46), Wesleyan University (3.44) and University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse (3.48).
To be awarded this honor teams must meet the following criteria: the team GPA is calculated as an average of the top ten students on each team. At least six of the ten chosen must have competed in the NCAA Qualifying Tournament while the other athletes must have competed in at least fifty percent of the teams scheduled contest.
“The NWCA looks forward to announcing these awards each year to honor these student-athletes for their accomplishments both on and off the mat. Each one of these 143 young men earning this honor have worked diligently to accomplish their goals as collegiate athletes,” said Mike Moyer, NWCA Executive Director. “The NWCA Board of Directors and staff is honored to recognize these young men for the academic accomplishments and we wish them the best of luck in their futures.”
On the individual academic awards, there were a total of 143 athletes who represent fifty-eight teams. Adding to the overall number were 22 All-Americans, two of which earned National Champion honors: Chad Johnson of Augsburg and Jeremy Stierly of Ithaca College.
Leading the pack of Division III All-Academic Individuals is Samuel Campbell from Washington and Lee University. Campbell is majoring in Politics with a 3.98 GPA.
Rounding out the Top 5 individuals are: Jeremy Stierly of Ithaca College, who is working on his MBA with a 394 GPA, Thomas Rispoli of SUNY- Brockport, majoring in Physical Education with a 3.93 GPA, Matt Lowry of Theil College, majoring in Mathematics and Actuarial Studies with a 3.92 GPA and Charles Jones of Messiah College, with a Business Administration Degree and a 3.87 GPA.
In order to make the team the nominee must have a 3.2 GPA (on a scale of 4.0) for the previous full academic year. This applies to the completion of the previous two semesters, previous two tri-semesters, or previous three quarters depending on the given school. This 3.2 GPA applies to the last grading period when the nomination is supplied to the Honors Committee. In addition, any candidate maintaining a cumulative 3.2 GPA also receives consideration.
The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a non-profit organization for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on developing coaches who work in academic environments. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling.
The three core competencies of the NWCA are: Coaching Development, student-athlete welfare, and promotion of wrestling.