Club Sports student-athletes continue to raise the bar for academic success
While athletic achievements on their respective playing fields continued to abound, academic numbers also remained on the rise across the board for student-athletes in Liberty University’s Club Sports department for the 2021-22 school year.
Liberty’s 634 student-athletes competing on one or more of the 41 distinct Club Sports teams maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.35 for the Spring 2022 semester, narrowly missing the semester-high rate of 3.36 reached in Spring 2020, but eclipsing the cumulative record of 3.34 set that academic year.
“This is the highest GPA Club Sports has ever achieved and I’m very proud of our coaches and student-athletes’ efforts this semester,” said Sarah Kelly, Club Sports Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Advancement.
In all, 40 out of 41 Club Sports teams finished the semester with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher with 116 achieving a perfect 4.0 and 300 landing on the Dean’s List for maintaining GPAs of 3.5 or better with at least 12 class credits. The top five teams for cumulative GPAs were women’s gymnastics (3.69), men’s and women’s rock climbing (3.56), men’s and women’s equestrian (3.53), women’s figure skating (3.51), and men’s Division III hockey (3.50).
“It was an unbelievable semester for our student-athletes,” Club Sports Athletic Director Kirk Handy said. “I appreciate the leadership of Sarah Kelly and her staff in guiding our student-athletes to an all-time high GPA.”
Kelly said incoming students especially benefited from services provided through her office.
“We increased our mentoring impact through offering more hours and assisting in supporting more student-athletes, especially during their freshman year,” said Kelly, whose staff has expanded to eight, including four graduate assistants.
Handy said Kelly has streamlined the process for student-athletes to receive the academic help they need, through readily available mentoring and tutoring opportunities as well as constructive workshops led by guest speakers.
“Sarah has great coordination between the coaches, student-athletes, and her staff to make sure that everyone’s on the same page, and she provides the resources necessary for the student-athlete to achieve their academic goals,” he said. “Some of the programs and ways that we have tweaked things over the years have paid big-time dividends for us.”