COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. - The College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) has selected a record 713 teams from 460 institutions to the Scholar All-America Team for the fall 2018 semester as both Carson-Newman programs have earned the honor for the sixth-straight year.
The teams were selected by the CSCAA's Scholar All-America committee on the basis of their fall grade point averages and represent 16,502 student-athletes. To earn the honor, teams were required to post a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the fall semester and maintain a roster of 12 or more student-athletes.
Coach Jordan Taylor's men's squad earned the second-highest GPA in all of Division II with a mark of 3.65 after leading the nation last year at 3.66. Bridgeport's men's team led the way at a 3.72 GPA.
Taylor's women's side held a team GPA of 3.53 which sits just outside of the top-10 in D2 after the Eagles were 5th last year with a mark at 3.64.
"Them having the right mentality is what it's all about," Taylor said. "We stress it as a staff and our athletes know what it takes. As you move forward, nobody is going to ask you about your best times, they'll ask about your GPA and internships and credit hours.
"The team has risen to the challenge with performing in the classroom and in the pool as the rankings show for it on both sides. All the swimmers do a great job of supporting and working with each other. The faculty and student success center are a huge help to what we are able to accomplish and I couldn't thank them enough for what they have done here because it makes a huge difference."
Thirty-three teams achieved Scholar All-America status for the first time, reflecting the continued growth of swimming and diving. "The narrative is that swimming and diving is on the decline, but in reality, colleges and universities have added 100 teams since 2015," according to CSCAA Executive Director Greg Earhart. "Presidents and athletic directors recognize that swimmers and divers are excellent students and ambassadors for their institutions."
Liberty University (Division I) had the highest GPA of all women's teams. The Flames earned an average GPA of 3.79. Among men's programs, MIT (Division III) took the top spot with a 3.78.
Women's divisional leaders included Biola (3.72) and Saint Catherine's (3.75) in Division II and III respectively. SCAD-Savannah (3.61) and Indian River (3.45) were tops among NAIA and NJCAA women's programs.
For the men, Grand Canyon (3.68) repeated last Fall's ranking as the top Division I men's program. In Division II, the aformentioned Bridgeport led the way with a 3.72. Like the women, SCAD-Savannah's men (3.48) were number one among NAIA programs. Iowa Central (3.10) topped the NJCAA.
Teams excelled both in the school and the pool with 89% of teams in the CSCAA TYR Top 25 earning the honor. Those teams included the top-ranked California men (3.05),
Texas women (3.55), Queens (NC) women (3.63), Indianapolis men (3.34) and Denison men (3.26) and women (3.31).
Founded in 1922, the CSCAA is the oldest organization of college coaches in America. The CSCAA is a professional organization of college swimming and diving coaches dedicated to serving and providing leadership for the advancement of the sport of swimming & diving at the collegiate level.