COLUMBUS, Ohio – Six Ohio State teams – men’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s soccer and men’s tennis – have been honored with Public Recognition Awards for academic performance, the NCAA announced Tuesday. The awards are given each year to teams scoring in the Top 10 percent in each sport based on their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR). The six teams recognized matches the Ohio State high, also set in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.
In the 16th year of APR data for most teams, the scores provide a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for academic eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team’s academic performance. The most recent APR scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years. The NCAA noted all 881 women’s teams earing a Public Recognition Award this year earned a perfect score.
Dr. John Davidson, Ohio State Faculty Athletics Representative, highlighted the work needed to succeed academically and is especially impressed by the six teams listed among the Top 10 honorees.
“Maintaining a high score in the multi-year rate exemplifies the commitment to the whole student-athlete that is at the core of our athletics culture: our men’s cross country and golf teams, along with women’s gymnastics, have shown the consistency to be named to this prestigious list. Women’s golf and women’s soccer have returned to the list after being honored last year as well and men’s tennis has achieved a three-peat.”
Davidson noted Ohio State places an emphasis on academics throughout the athletics department.
“This is genuinely a reflection of the attention paid to academics right from the outset. Coaches make it a central focus in recruiting and maintain that focus in planning and programming. Athletics leadership dedicates itself to providing every opportunity that can advance the cause of education. And, the dedication of our academic support staff in SASSO is unparalleled. But ultimately, of course, it is the hard work and ability of these remarkable young student-athletes that makes all the difference.”
The Buckeye men’s cross country squad earns its first Public Recognition Award since 2012-13 and the program’s second award. The team, under the direction of coach Khadevis Robinson, raced for a ninth place finish at the NCAA Division I Great Lakes Regional this year with 326 points in a field of 29 teams. The finish was the second-highest since 2013, when the Buckeyes finished seventh at the regional championships.
The men’s golf team earns its second Public Recognition Award and the first since 2012-13. The team, coached by Jay Moseley, was forced to replace four seniors from the year before, and saw contributions from a number of players in 2019-20, including a pair of freshmen and an emerging sophomore in Grant Engle. The Buckeyes were led by graduate transfer Felix Kvarnstrom, who had a 72.94 scoring average and four Top 20 finishes. The team seemed to be playing well heading down the stretch when the season was abruptly ended.
The Ohio State women’s golf team, led by head coach and director of golf Therese Hession, earns its second straight recognition by the NCAA and the third in program history after also being honored in 2011-12. The 2019-20 Buckeyes competed in seven tournaments before having their season cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ohio State was rounding into form, finishing third in its last tournament at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational in Hawaii. Individually, Buckeyes posted one victory, four Top 5 finishes and seven Top 10’s in the 2019-20 campaign.
The women’s gymnastics team returns to the Public Recognition Award list for the first time since it was recognized in 2012 and ’13. The Buckeyes, under the direction of head coach Meredith Paulicivic, recorded a number of team feats and individual achievements in 2019-20, including a season-high national rank of No. 27 and the sixth-best team score under Paulicivic.
This is the second year in a row the Ohio State women’s soccer team, under the direction of head coach Lori Walker-Hock, has been recognized by the NCAA. In 2019 the Buckeyes had a number of individual highlights, including Izzy Rodriguez earning Third Team All-Big Ten honors and Scholar All-North/Central Region laurels, while 15 Buckeyes were named Academic All-Big Ten.
This is the seventh time the Ohio State men’s tennis team, under head coach Ty Tucker, has earned a Public Recognition Award. The squad was also honored each year from 2008-11 and in 2018 and ’19. When the remainder of the 2020 season was canceled, the squad was well on its way to yet another Big Ten title. The Buckeyes, ranked in the Top 6 all season, were 14-3, had two wins over No. 1 ranked teams and advanced to the semifinals of the ITA National Indoor Team Championship. The squad featured four ranked singles players and the No. 3 ranked doubles team in the nation. John McNally, Cannon Kingsley and Robert Cash all earned All-America honors and Tucker notched his 600th career victory.