Norfolk, Va. - A record 638 teams, representing 394 institutions have been named College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America Teams. The awards are in recognition of teams' that achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher during the 2016 Fall Semester. Ninety-one additional teams and thirty-six more institutions achieved the honor compared to a year ago.
The University of Bridgeport men's and women's swimming programs, under the direction of head coach Sean Raffile, are two of those teams to receive 2016 Fall Semester Scholar All-America Team awards. The UB men checked in with an impressive 3.52 team grade point average which was second-best in the nation for all of NCAA Division II men's programs. The Bridgeport women had a team grade point average of 3.58 putting them into the Top-10 of all NCAA Division II women's programs.
Part of the reason for the increase in award-winning teams is the overall growth of the sport.The number of men's and women's institutions sponsoring swimming and diving is at a ten-year high. The sport is also enjoying a bump in participation that has traditionally followed Olympic years.
CSCAA Executive Director Joel Shinofield feels much of the credit, however, goes to the coaches. "Our coaches understand that the essence of intercollegiate athletics is the experience each student-athlete receives, and an emphasis on academics reflects what coaches feel is most important."
Shinofield was quick to point out, however, that good grades were not at the expense of athletic excellence. "College swimming and diving has never been more competitive, and yet over 80% of our Division I member teams and nearly 80% of all teams in the Top 25 are also Scholar All-America teams."
In total 73% of all CSCAA member programs posted GPA's above 3.00 with 91% of Division I women's teams meeting the mark. Women's teams averaged a 3.336 GPA with men slightly behind at 3.22. Iona College's women led all Division I programs with a 3.68 while Grand Canyon University led all Division I men's teams with a 3.68. Urbana College's men (3.57) and Northern State's women (3.76) were the leaders in Division II. Among Division III programs, Vassar College (3.59) and MIT (3.72) led the men's and women's rankings respectively. The Fashion Institute of Technology led both men's (3.67) and women's (3.30) NJCAA institutions. Olivet Nazarene (3.18) led all men's NAIA programs while SCAD-Savannah (3.54) topped the women's standings.
To be selected as a CSCAA Scholar All-America Team, programs must have achieved a grade point average of 3.00 or higher over the fall semester.
Founded in 1922, the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) – the oldest organization of college coaches in America -is a professional organization of college swimming and diving coaches dedicated to serving and providing leadership for the advancement of the sport of swimming & diving at the collegiate level.