2009-10--A Banner Academic Year for Wyoming Athletics

July 29, 2010

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

With the 2009-10 academic year in the rear-view mirror, the Wyoming Athletics Department can look back and marvel at the accomplishments made by the Cowboys and Cowgirls in the classroom.  The 2009-10 academic year was one of the most successful in school history and was highlighted by many national awards for both teams and individuals.

"We take our academic mission very seriously," University of Wyoming Director of Athletics Tom Burman said, "and we are extremely proud of what our student-athletes are accomplishing in the classroom. I think UW has done a great job of improving its Office of Academic Support. We now have five full-time employees and two graduate assistants dedicated to our student-athletes. Those dedicated individuals play a major role in the lives of these young men and women especially academically. I also appreciate our coaches and their emphasis on the importance of the classroom. It must begin with them.

"We love the performance of our student-athletes athletically, but we are most proud of the excellence we see from these individuals in the classroom."

A total of 124 student-athletes were named Academic All-Mountain West Conference, which is the most since the 2002-03 season. To be honored, a student athlete must earn at least a 3.0 grade-point average and compete in 50 percent of their respective team's contests.

Both the Cowboy and Cowgirl swimming and diving programs were selected as Scholar All-America teams by the College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). Lesley Young was a CSCAA Honorable Mention Scholar All-American for the third consecutive year. Cowgirls Kari Budd and Emily Huth were named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VII Women's At-Large Second Team.

The Cowboy golf team had three members, Phil Henzlik, Gabe Maier and Zach Zaremba, named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

In volleyball, the Cowgirls earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award. In addition, JennaRae Jester was named ESPN the Magazine Second Team Academic All-District VII.

The Cowgirl soccer program earned the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Award for the second consecutive year. In addition, Emily Layton was selected NSCAA All-West Region Honorable Mention.

Cowboy wrestler Joe LeBlanc became a two-time All-American on the mat and was named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team for his work in the classroom.

The Cowboy football program saw three student-athletes, Russ Arnold, Weston Johnson and Jesson Salyards, earn ESPN the Magazine Second Team All-District VII honors. The same three players were also named to the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society.

Cowgirl basketball had Aubrey Vandiver named to the ESPN the Magazine Second Team Academic All-District VII.

Of Wyoming's 17 sports, each team's 2008-09 annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) was above the 925 minimum. Cowboy basketball, for instance, has now improved its APR scores for three consecutive years under head coach Heath Schroyer. The team's single-year APR has increased from 928 in 2006-07 to 933 in 2007-08 and finally to 938 in 2008-09.