Softball Honored For Academic Work
Oct. 16, 2008
GREENVILLE, N.C. – In 2008, the East Carolina softball team achieved success on the field in recording the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory over Mississippi Valley State. Not forgotten by the players was the emphasis on solid work and effort in the classroom. The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) recently honored the Pirates for academic excellence, naming the squad an NFCA Academic All-America team.
During the 2007-08 school year ECU compiled a 3.229 cumulative grade point average, good for 44th-place on a list of 101 NCAA Division I squads that earned the honor. Teams must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher to be considered, with all of this year’s recipients having at least a 2.79 GPA. Other C-USA schools joining East Carolina among the rankings were Marshall (42nd), Memphis (51st), UTEP (99th) and UAB (101st).
“Academics play a huge part in our program,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “As coaches, we want our players to give as much effort in the classroom as they do on the field. Our kids take great pride in wearing the label ‘student-athlete’. They understand its importance and don’t shy away from the demands it places on them.”
Along with the NFCA honor, the Pirates also earned the 2008 Conference USA Sport Academic Award, given to the team in each conference-sponsored sport with the highest grade point average for the current academic year.
“Coach Koz and I are extremely proud of what they have accomplished,” Kee added. “To see a group set a goal, then obtain it is very rewarding. It’s a true sign of their character and determination.”
When the Pirates resume play on the field in February, they will be aiming for a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance and an improvement over last year’s fifth-place finish in the C-USA regular season standings.