Eleven Hope College athletic teams have earned the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Team GPA Award for the 2014-15 academic year.

The Hope women’s soccer team, coached by Leigh Sears, topped all 77 MIAA Team GPA recipients from the league with a 3.72 grade point average. On the field, the Flying Dutch were MIAA champions last fall.

The MIAA Team GPA Award is presented to conference teams that achieve a 3.300 or better grade point average.

Sears said it is great to see all the hard work and dedication pay off as students as well as soccer players.  

“We have always worked hard to balance the academics with the athletics,” Sears said. “Hope attracts great students who understand why they are here. Soccer is a great part of the experience, but they are here for an education and they take it seriously. We make sure classes always come before practice and that professors are well informed about what is happening with the team. “

The women’s swimming/diving team coached by John Patnott, had Hope’s second-highest Team GPA in 2014-15 at 3.56. 

The women’s cross country team, coached by Mark Northuis, claimed the Team GPA award for the 17th time with a 3.46 Team GPA. The Flying Dutch are one of two MIAA teams to receive the honor every year since the program began.

Hope’s other MIAM Team GPA winners and their coaches are league champion women’s tennis at 3.55 (Adam Ford), league champion women’s golf at 3.51 (Greg Stafford), 2014 NCAA Division III national and MIAA co-champion volleyball at 3.48 (Becky Schmidt), women’s track & field at 3.48 (Kevin Cole), women’s lacrosse at 3.44 (Kim Vincent), softball at 3.43 (Mary VandeHoef), men’s cross country at 3.38 (Mark Northuis), women’s basketball at 3.32 (Brian Morehouse).

Faculty Athletic Representatives of MIAA member colleges administer the program. Hope’s Faculty Athletic Representatives for 2014-15 were Dr. Virginia Beard, associate professor of political science, and Dr. Mark Pearson, assistant professor of mathematics.