Apr 20, 2017
MANHEIM, Pa. – The American University wrestling team finished third among NCAA Division I programs in team GPA and earned All-Academic Team status from the National Wrestling Coaches Association, the NWCA announced this week.
The Eagles finished with a 3.47 team GPA, marking the ninth time in the past 10 years AU has finishing in the top 10 in the nation, including first-place results in 2008 and 2009.
American finished behind only Harvard and Brown, as institutions from the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association swept the top three places, and put five schools in the top eight nationally.
"The American University wrestling team continues to succeed in the classroom, and it is a great accomplishment for these young men to earn," says head coach Teague Moore. "Each athlete in this program understands our Program Goals – one of which is to attain the highest possible GPA in their field of study.
"This commitment is not achieved easily. These young men have to sacrifice and put in extra hours beyond their time in the classroom, practice room and competition mat. It is a lifestyle commitment that an AU Wrestler makes."
The combined achievements academically and athletically are an important goal for the entire AU program, according to Dr. Billy Walker, AU's director of athletics and recreation and the chair of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee.
"I'm tremendously proud of our wrestling team," said Walker. "To finish third in the nation in GPA is no small feat and doesn't happen by chance. Rather, it's a result of a culture that permeates the entire team. Coach Moore, his staff and most importantly, our wrestlers, put emphasis on and take great pride in the team's academic performance. It's a critical aspect of our program."
The team GPA is determined using a system that includes 12 student-athletes from each program. Ten of these came from the wrestlers who were entries in an NCAA tournament conference qualifier.
All 10 AU starters were selected as Academic All-EIWA picks earlier this month. Graduating heavyweight Brett Dempsey was also honored recently as the top AU Senior Male Student-Athlete with the highest GPA across all sports, earning a 3.95 in biology.