Golden Eagles Awarded AVCA Team Academic Accolades

LEXINGTON, Ky. (August 1, 2012) — The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced today John Brown University was amongst 535 teams, across all collegiate divisions, that have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2011-2012 season.

This is JBU's first nomination since the 2006-07 season when current director of athletics, Robyn Daugherty, was at the helm of the volleyball program.

Current head coach Stacie Johnson admitted that, while the coaching staff offered as much support as possible, it was the student-athletes themselves that pushed for this remarkable achievement.

"We wanted to make sure there were extra measures in place this season," said Johnson who lead JBU to an overall record of 18-16 last season. "That being said, I couldn't be more impressed with the drive the ladies displayed all season to stay on top of their homework. I was getting phone calls from professors praising the players for constantly sitting in the front row of class while remaining engaged by asking and answering questions."

The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.

Just as volleyball is a team sport, Johnson was pleased to see the upperclassmen show great support to the freshmen and sophomores as the season progressed.

"I remember a time, early in the season, where we went on a long road trip. I wanted to give the team a break by spending time at the local mall. Instead of shopping, the team set up camp at the local Barnes and Noble doing homework for the entire time. More importantly, there was a great deal of guidance and mentoring exhibited by our seasoned players.

"That's something that, as a coach, I couldn't be more thrilled about."

The Golden Eagles were only one of 34 programs in the NAIA to receive the award. That places JBU in an elite category as just 6.19 percent of programs were able to achieve the high standard of academic excellence.

"I'm hoping this starts a tradition," Johnson noted, excited for future possibilities. "At John Brown, we intentionally recruit not only talented players on the court, but those who are ready to experience success in the classroom."

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