The Valparaiso University men’s golf team was recognized by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) on Wednesday for its continued excellence in the classroom.
The Crusaders received President’s Special Recognition, an honor given to teams who achieve a team grade point average of 3.5 or better. They are one of 19 programs to earn the distinction, finishing the 2016-2017 academic year with a team GPA of 3.63.
This marks the sixth straight year the Crusaders achieve President’s Special Recognition and the seventh straight season they have been recognized by the GCAA as an all-academic team (GPA of 3.0 or better).
“An important part of our team identity continues to be the emphasis that we place on academics,” Valpo head coach Dave Gring said. “As part of our team culture, we feel that we can win conference and academic championships each year. We have achieved both in the past four years and the guys continue to push themselves to be exceptional and unique in both of these areas. We feel that we can be balanced in our approach to playing golf at a very competitive level and attaining phenomenal grades in the classroom.”
Nick Seitz (Xenia, Ohio / Carroll) and Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis. / Kaukauna) led the way academically, as both were members of the Horizon League all-academic team.
Seitz notched his third straight academic all-league selection on his way to finishing with a perfect 4.0 GPA in biology and chemistry. He was also honored as the Valpo Laurel Award winner, given annually to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative GPA.
Seitz, Wittmann, Michael Kinsella (Northbrook, Ill. / Glenbrook North), Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill. / Glenbrook North), Adam Baracani (Normal, Ill. / University), Zach Cutler (O’Fallon, Mo. / Timberland) and Peter Webb (Madison, Wis. / James Madison Memorial) were all members of the Horizon League spring academic honor roll.
"Every year, I marvel at the consistent performance and efforts that our guys put in to their academics,” Gring said. “Our student-athletes dedicate a lot of time toward practicing and playing golf. They also focus intently on getting their homework done, studying for exams, communicating with their professors and being rewarded with outstanding grades, along with having a ton of fun. I'm very proud of our performance this past year, both on the golf course and in the classroom. We have a special group of young men each year who find a way to get it done at a high level in both areas of the college experience."