The Colorado College Men’s soccer team has excelled on and off the field this year: In addition to posting an impressive 14-6-2 record, the team ranked third in the country in GPA out of Division I, II, and III collegiate soccer programs.

The Tigers achieved a combined GPA of 3.54, which earned them the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s SCAA Men’s Team Academic Award. To qualify for the award, squads needed at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Amongst the 281 teams that qualified, CC ranked third. They were ahead of Haverford College (3.52) and below Washington University in St. Louis (3.77) and Savannah College of Art and Design (3.70).

“As coach and mentor of the team, I am so proud of our student-athletes,” said Coach Horst Richardson. “Not only did they excel on the field, but they also excelled in the classroom.

“This year is by no means an anomaly,” continued Richardson, referring to the three Academic All-Americans in 2012, and the two last year. “Ever since this award has started, the CC Men’s Soccer team have distinguished themselves with academic awards.”

Ken Ralph, the Director of Athletics, is enthusiastic about the positive implications this award will have on the recruitment of future CC student-athletes, and how the academic success of all CC sports teams will help further demolish any negative conceptions about ‘jocks.’

“It helps us bust the dumb jock persona,” said Ralph. “To me, it’s exciting that the athletes are no different to the rest of the students at this school; they’re doing their work, taking difficult majors, and engaging in community service projects.

“As the admissions standards for CC get more intense, better and better students are now considering Colorado College. If they see that their sports team are excelling in the classroom, that hopefully that will make us seem more attractive,” said Ralph.

After falling victim to the decision made by the NCAA to leave CC out of the Division III tournament despite their winning season, this academic recognition is a consolation to the players and coaches alike. It is worth noting that division rivals Trinity were ranked 43rd.

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