Coaches Demonstrate Commitment To Academic Excellence

Aug. 5, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Gonzaga University coaches demonstrated they have a commitment to academic excellence as well as athletic excellence according to the initial Academic Progress Rate (APR) for coaches released Thursday.

For the first time since the APR was adopted for NCAA Division I for the 2003-04 academic year, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors directed the NCAA staff to provide a publicly available website displaying single-year NCAA Division I APR for head coaches. During this initial release, information has been reported for men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, football and women's indoor and outdoor track and field. Head coaches in all other sports will be added to the website following the 2010-11 academic year.

Of the six sports in the pilot program, only three have an impact at Gonzaga - men's and women's basketball, and baseball. Gonzaga did not meet the minimum student-athlete count for women's outdoor track from 2003-04 through 2006-07, and did not have student-athletes receiving athletic-related aid for the past two reporting periods of 2007-08 and 2008-09.

But the Bulldog basketball and baseball programs are reflected well above the national average in the report.

Men's basketball coach Mark Few has a multi-year APR of 976 for the 6-year period, ahead of the national average of 940 for all NCAA Division I men's basketball programs. The Bulldogs have had three perfect scores of 1,000 in that period, including each of the last two reporting cycles.

Women's basketball coach Kelly Graves has a 981 multi-year APR, surpassing the national average of 966 for women's basketball. Graves has recorded perfect scores of 1,000 in three of the years as well, including the 2008-09 report issued this past May.

Baseball coach Mark Machtolf, whose first year as head coach was the initial reporting cycle of 2003-04, has a 979 multi-year APR, and, as with both basketball programs, is ahead of the national average of 954. His 979 multi-year score is in the 80th-90th percentile of all NCAA Division I baseball teams.

"As with the team scores reported in May, this report exemplifies the dedication our coaches have of producing not only quality athletes but developing well-rounded student-athletes," Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth said. "There are a lot of people who have helped make this possible in all of our support areas, but ultimately the head coach is the person held responsible and our coaches take this responsibility seriously."

Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice-president for academic and membership affairs, said the priority of the Division I Board of Directors report was viewed to "increase the transparency to APR data and improve accountability toward the coaching staff members as it relates to the academic performance of student-athletes."

"I think inherent in this is the recognition from our presidents that coaches play a significant role in influencing the academic success of student-athletes. They certainly don't stand alone as there are many individuals on campus who contribute, but it's clear the coach is a primary influencer as it relates to the academic performance of their student-athletes. When you see the numbers, a vast majority of our coaches are doing an excellent job, and the numbers associated with their team and them as head coach reflect that commitment," Lennon continued.

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