(Editor’s note: Story by Montana Sports Information)
MISSOULA – Call if the Hauck Effect.
Sparked by the return of its former coach 13 months ago, the Montana football program had its best-ever semester in the classroom last spring, coming in with a team-wide GPA of 2.99.
And then it got even better. The Grizzlies didn’t just reach 3.0 for the first time in the fall, they rushed past it, the 102 members of the team averaging a 3.07 for the autumn semester.
Fifty-eight players had a semester GPA of 3.0 or better, 20 made the Dean’s List and five had perfect 4.0 terms.
“To be almost 3.1 for the team is exemplary by our players, coaches and academic support staff,” said Hauck.
“Graduation is the key to future success in life, so school is always going to be first around here. We’re doing a great job academically, but we’re still going to continue to try to improve.”
It helped lead to a record-setting semester for the Department of Athletics, with its 330 student-athletes recording an average term GPA of 3.19 while raising their average cumulative GPA to 3.21, the 27th consecutive semester that cumulative average has been 3.0 or higher.
Both GPAs are highs since the department began keeping records in 1999.
* Semester honors go to Jason Brown’s men’s tennis team, which had a term GPA of 3.75. The program may have changed coaches — from Kris Nord to Brown — but that hasn’t impacted the Grizzlies’ academics. They’ve been at 3.3 or above the last 10 semesters.
* Also reaching the podium for the fall semester were women’s tennis and softball, which had GPAs of 3.51 and 3.47. It was the sixth consecutive semester at 3.4 or better for coach Steve Ascher’s women’s tennis team and the best term in program history for coach Melanie Meuchel’s softball team.
* Women’s cross country had a fall GPA of 3.43, women’s golf a 3.38, women’s track and field a 3.33 and women’s soccer a 3.30.
Women’s track and field, which typically has the department’s largest roster outside of football, has had a GPA of 3.2 or better every semester since the fall of 2005. Women’s soccer upped its streak of GPAs of 3.3 or better to 11 consecutive semesters.
* Women’s basketball had a fall term of 3.18, men’s cross country a 3.11, men’s track and field a 3.07.
* Men’s basketball was just below a 3.0 for the fall, coming in at 2.96, but maintained a team cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for the fifth time in the last seven semesters.