Two UCF athletic squads captured American Athletic Conference Team Academic Excellence Awards, the league announced Thursday — designating those two programs as the top performing academic teams in their respective AAC sports.
In addition, a UCF record 253 student-athletes of various Knights teams earned spots on the AAC All-Academic Team.
UCF’s volleyball (3.71 grade-point average on 4.0 scale) and rowing (3.42 GPA) teams claimed the prestigious team awards, which are based on each team’s cumulative GPA following the 2018-19 academic year. Faculty athletic representatives of the conference institutions make the selections.
The volleyball program earned those academic plaudits while at the same time finishing 27-4 in 2018 (including an 18-0 league mark and AAC regular-season crown) and making a first-round appearance in the NCAA Championship. The Knights ranked No. 25 in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association coaches’ poll.
The UCF rowing squad in 2019 won its fifth-consecutive AAC Championship, then finished 18th in the NCAA Championship, its highest national position in program history. On the academic front, the rowing team previously had 12 members named Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) scholar-athletes for the 2019 season.
It’s the second time in UCF’s six years in the AAC that the Knights’ volleyball program won a Team Academic Excellence Award (also in 2016-17), while this marks the first such recognition for the rowing program.
The previous five years of the AAC Team Academic Excellence Awards included UCF winning in football and women’s basketball in 2013-14; football, men’s basketball and softball in 2014-15; men’s golf and women’s tennis in 2015-16; volleyball in 2016-17 and men’s tennis in 2017-18.
Meanwhile the AAC All-Academic Team for 2018-19 features 55 members of the Knights’ rowing roster, 43 from the football squad, 23 each from baseball and women’s soccer, 22 from women’s cross country/track and field, 20 from softball, 17 from men’s soccer, 11 from volleyball, seven each from women’s basketball, men’s basketball and women’s golf and six each from men’s golf, men’s tennis and women’s tennis.
Each institution may annually submit an unlimited number of nominations who must have participated in an AAC-sponsored sport, attained a cumulative GPA of 3.00 for the preceding academic year and completed a minimum of two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters of academic work (with a minimum 18 semester or 27 quarter credits).