A strong emphasis on success in the classroom has long been a cornerstone of the Valparaiso University men’s golf program under head coach Dave Gring. Two Crusaders added to the program’s long-standing tradition of receiving academic accolades on Wednesday as the Missouri Valley Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete teams.
Senior Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill. / Naperville North) was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team, while junior Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis. / Kaukauna) received MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention.
“One of the big parts of our team identity is our performance in the classroom,” Gring said. “Our team achieved an academic national championship two years ago and these guys know how to perform at a high level on the golf course and in the classroom. Along with our team and individual golf goals, we spend time discussing our academic goals each year and we feel this makes us very unique. We aspire for high goals in the classroom and on the golf course and these guys seem to find a way to get it done every year.”
Doherty, a finance major with a 3.82 GPA, tied for the team lead in scoring average at 76.33. He tied for 16th of 45 and led the team with a 54-hole score of 228 at the MVC Championship, where he paced the team with seven birdies. The senior’s season-low round was a 73 on four different occasions. He finished his Valpo tenure with a career scoring average of 77.09, which puts him ninth in program history.
Wittmann, a finance major with a 3.97 GPA, carded a 70 in the second-round of the MVC Championship on April 23. That marked a season best and was one stroke away from his career-low of 69. This marks the second straight conference academic recognition for the Valpo junior, who was a member of the Horizon League All-Academic Team as a sophomore in 2017.
“Both Michael and Mitchell were part of our DI Academic National Championship two years ago and they are two of our three captains this year,” Gring said. “Their leadership is exemplary and it is a model for other guys on the team to follow. When you consider the demands that coaches put on their players throughout the competitive season and the professors put on their students during the school year, it is both admirable and commendable. The two of these guys put in the effort every day and our team is very excited for them and this recognition.”
MVC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE FIRST TEAM
Drake Bushong, Bradley
Michael Mounce, Bradley
Zach Jewell, Bradley
David Perkins, Illinois State
Brad Carpenter, Missouri State
Kory Franks, Missouri State
Peyton Wilhoit, Southern Illinois
Michael Doherty, Valparaiso
MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention
Jack Knoesel, Missouri State
Kyle MacDonald, Drake
Mitchell Wittmann, Valparaiso
Dirk Kuehler, Southern Illinois
Hunter York, Southern Illinois