Bryant teams honored by NCAA

Bryant has made a highly successful transition to Division 1 Athletics (Bryant Athletics)

Ten different Bryant University athletic programs were honored by the NCAA in September, as the men’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s golf, women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s swimming team, men’s track and field and volleyball teams all received the NCAA Public Recognition Award, Director of Athletics Bill Smith announced Tuesday.

The honor is bestowed upon those teams that have an NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports.

Through its innovative APR, which provides an annual scorecard of academic achievement, the NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I sports team.

By measuring eligibility and retention each semester or quarter, the APR provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years.

Fourth-year head coach Stephanie Reilly and the cross country team have kicked off the fall with three races, with several individuals posting tremendous results early in the season.

Football head coach Marty Fine has guided the Bulldogs to a 3-1 record to begin the 2011 campaign, while field hockey head coach Shaunessy Saucier has the Black and Gold off to a 4-5 start through September.

The latest addition to the Bryant coaching staff, Charlie Blanchard was tabbed to lead the men’s golf team on Aug. 24, 2011, and has had an immediate impact, indicative of today’s award and the team’s positive play on the course.  The Bulldogs have competed in two tournaments, and have shown growth and improvement since the start of the season in early September.

Additionally, 12-year bench boss Chris Flint has led the women’s soccer team to a 4-4-2 record to start the season, with impressive non-conference victories against Massachusetts and George Washington.

Softball head coach Lisa-Ann Wallace has her squad prepping with a busy offseason schedule as the team will look to match one of their best seasons in recent memory this coming spring.

Men’s and women’s swimming head coach Katie Cameron has the team ready to kick off the 2011-12 campaign in her seventh season guiding the program. Finally, 16th-year head coach Theresa Garlacy has guided the volleyball team through some tough early season tests, and will look to gain momentum heading into the conference schedule.

In the six years of the NCAA’s academic reform program, 1,992 different teams have received Public Recognition Awards, representing 31 percent of eligible sports teams during that time.  Of that total, 260 teams have received Public Recognition Awards each of the six years of the program.