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Academic Champions Again

Academic Champions Again

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University has been awarded the 2017-18 Ohio Valley Conference Institutional Academic Achievement Award, the league office announced Thursday.

The award is presented annually to the member institution with the greatest percentage of its eligible student-athletes that earn a 3.25 grade-point average or higher for that academic year.

This past year, nearly 60 percent of eligible Belmont student-athletes posted a 3.25 grade-point average or higher.

It marks the sixth straight crown for Belmont, who joined the OVC prior to the 2012-13 season.

Belmont University has now claimed a conference academic achievement award 15 of the last 17 academic years, including nine of its 11 years of membership in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

"This announcement caps off a remarkable year for Belmont Athletics, and serves as a great source of pride and inspiration for the year to come," Belmont University Director of Athletics Scott Corley said. "Belmont's track record of academic achievement is full credit to our coaches, academic support team, and most importantly, our student-athletes. Dr. Fisher and university senior leadership share in offering their praise and congratulations."

In addition to the Institutional Academic Achievement Award, the OVC also announced the recipients of 16 conference Team Academic Achievement Awards, which are presented annually in each conference-sponsored sport to the member institution's team with the greatest percentage of its eligible student-athletes who achieved a 3.25 grade point average or higher.

Belmont women's basketball claimed the Team Academic Achievement award for a fourth time in five seasons. The Bruins, who went 31-4 and were ranked as high as No. 22 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, posted the 13th-highest team GPA in the nation. The program earned the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll for the fifth time in six seasons.

Earlier this week, 10 Bruin student-athletes received the OVC Medal of Honor, emblematic of a perfect 4.0 grade-point average during the 2017-18 academic year:

  • Kylee Smith (Alpharetta, Ga.) - women's basketball
  • Jenny Roy (Brentwood, Tenn.) - women's basketball
  • Tyler Hadden (Cincinnati, Ohio) - men's basketball
  • Tara Austin (Beaumont, Texas) - women's soccer
  • Kameron Ziesig (Brentwood, Tenn.) - women's soccer
  • Julie Garst (Franklin, Tenn.) - women's soccer
  • Sydney Cason (Hendersonville, Tenn.) - women's soccer
  • Hayley Baker (Rockwall, Texas) - softball
  • Jessica King (Fishers, Ind.) - women's cross country and track & field
  • Matt Edwards (Glamorgan, Wales, UK) - men's cross country and track & field

Belmont University had 132 student-athletes in total named academic all-conference, including six student-athletes from men's soccer (honored as part of the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll).

Additionally, numerous individuals and teams received awards during the 2017-18 campaign. Three student-athletes earned Google Cloud/CoSIDA Academic All-America® distinction – Dylan Windler, Kylee Smith and Hayley Baker.

Six athletic teams (men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, men's golf, women's golf and women's cross country) garnered 2018 Academic Progress Rate (APR) Honor Roll distinction.

For a complete listing of 2017-18 OVC Academic Awards, log onto