COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – It's a three-year streak at the top of the charts for the Tennessee Tech football team and two years in a row for the Golden Eagle soccer team.
Tennessee Tech fared extremely well in comparison with its peers throughout the Ohio Valley Conference and among four-year institutions in the state of Tennessee, according to numbers announced Wednesday in the NCAA multi-year Athletic Progress Rate (APR), an annual report from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Those two Golden Eagle teams ranked first in the league and within the state of Tennessee, the third consecutive year that coach Watson Brown's team has earned that distinction and the second straight for coach Steve Springthorpe's soccer team. Two more Tech teams ranked second in the league and the state, two are third and two more are fourth. That's more than half of the university's 14 programs in the top four in both comparisons.
Make it six consecutive years that all 14 of Tech's athletic teams have comfortably exceeded the national APR standard, a benchmark to determine how an athletics program is meeting the mission of educating its student-athletes.
In simplest terms, Tech's more than 300 student-athletes are staying in school, remaining eligible, and making progess toward their degrees.
Additionally, more than half of Tech’s 14 teams had perfect one-year rates of 1,000, the eight hitting that mark in 2013-14 giving the school two more than last year. Golden Eagle teams which achieved perfect scores for the most recent year in the report are men’s basketball, cross country and golf, and women's cross country, soccer, indoor track, outdoor track and volleyball.
Every Division I institution calculates the APR of each team each academic year, based on the eligibility, graduation and retention of each scholarship student-athlete. Teams scoring below certain thresholds can face consequences, such as practice restrictions and restrictions on postseason competition. The current multi-year rates are based on the past four years’ performances. The most recent APRs are based on the scores from the 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years.
“Success in our APR numbers speaks to the diligence of our student-athletes, our coaches and our academic support system and personnel, as well as the outstanding work by the faculty of Tennessee Tech," said Mark Wilson, Director of Athletics. "Our student-athletes are coming in better prepared when they enter Tennessee Tech, and they are staying on track to earn their degrees. We take a great deal of pride in the academic success of all our teams, and these APR rates verify, once again, that we are successfully fulfilling our mission toward our student-athletes."
In the multi-year rates, the Golden Eagle football and soccer teams not only posted the highest APR in the OVC, they also had the top APR figure among four-year institutions in the state. The Golden Eagle football team had a 973 APR, while the soccer team earned a 997 APR. That put the soccer team among the top 10 percent of all collegiate women's soccer programs in the nation.
The Tech men's golf team and women's cross country team were ranked second in the OVC, the men's and women's basketball teams were each third in the league, baseball and the women's indoor track team were fourth, and the tennis, softball and outdoor track teams were all fifth in the conference.
A week ago, the Golden Eagle soccer team was recognized for its classroom success, receiving a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA.
Compared with other in-state public universities, 11 of Tech's 14 programs rank first, second or third with football and soccer topping that list by ranking first. Tech's baseball and men's golf teams had the second-highest multi-year APR among four-year public institutions, while the two basketball squads, tennis, softball and women's cross country were all third on that list.
“These kinds of APR numbers point out that our student-athletes and our staff continue to take seriously our goal of stressing the importance of academic success,” Wilson said.
Tennessee Tech's 2015 Multi-Year APR Rates
|Indoor Track & Field||985|
|Outdoor Track & Field||985|
Note: The NCAA expected standard APR score for a team's multi-year rate is 930