For the second consecutive year the student-athletes of Sacred Heart University have combined to capture the Northeast Conference Institutional Academic Award. SHU becomes the first school since the inception of the Academic Award (2006-07) to win the award in the same year as winning the Brenda Weare Commissioner's Cup. The Pioneers' 22 NEC team combined for a league-record 3.331 GPA during the 2015-16 academic year.
"I was proud when our student-athletes earned the Brenda Weare Commissioners Cup, and I am even more today," said John J. Petillo, University president. "The announcement that our student-athletes have earned the NEC Institutional Academic Award is the crowning achievement of a banner year for SHU Athletics."
In addition to the overall department Award, SHU earned two NEC Team GPA Awards. The women's lacrosse team, 3.520 and men's lacrosse team, 3.270, earned the top GPA amongst conference foes.
"Our student-athletes continue to prove that they are dedicated to being students first and foremost and this award is a testament to their hard work," said Executive Director of Athletics Bobby Valentine. "I continue to be impressed by what our Pioneer student-athletes are able to achieve in all areas and am honored to be associated with these fine young men and women."
Overall, the 32 varsity programs at SHU combined for a 2015-16 academic year GPA of 3.31. The women's golf team, which finished second at the NEC Championship, led the Pioneers with a team GPA of 3.57. That headlined 19 programs that posted team GPA's of 3.30 or better this year. On the men's side, the tennis team garnered top GPA honors with a 3.48.
Three quarters of SHU student-athletes posted semester GPA of 3.0 or better during the year, totaling 1,187 over the two semesters. In addition, more than a third of the Pioneers were recognized on the University Dean's List this year and SHU student-athletes earned 54 perfect 4.0 semester GPA's this year. Over the course of the year, 449 Pioneers were recognized on conference All-Academic Teams.
The SHU Department of Athletics captured its sixth Brenda Weare Commissioners Cup this season, and extended its record of Joan Martin Cups for Excellence in Women's Athletics to nine. The Pioneers also compiled 8,391.5 hours of community service during the year to win the league's Building Communities Award for the fifth time in six years.
For the second year in a row the women's cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams completed the triple crown; winning all three championships. The bowling team won the NEC regular season and tournament crown in March and the women's basketball team won the NEC Regular Season crown as well.