Bulldogs Earn Spot on WBCA’s Academic Top 25

The Yale women's basketball huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Yale women's basketball huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

2011-12 Squad Ranks 22nd Among Division I Nominees

WBCA Release


NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Women's Basketball Coaches Association recognized the Yale University women's basketball team on Tuesday as one of its honorees on the WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll for the 2011-12 season.

The Bulldogs ranked No. 22 on the NCAA Division I Top 25 Honor Roll with a 3.352 Team Grade Point Average. Yale was the lone nominee from the Ivy League to earn a place on the Top 25 Honor Roll.

"The best student-athletes in America are found in the Ivy League. For our team members to achieve this level of academic success while meeting the demands of one of the most academically challenging universities in the world is a huge testimony to their work ethics, their talents, and their love of being students at Yale University," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "Our players are an awesome group, but credit also needs to go to their fabulous professors who inspire them every day."

It is the first time since the 2004-05 season that Yale has earned a spot on the Top 25 Honor Roll. That season, under then-head coach Amy Backus, the Bulldogs ranked No. 20 with a 3.328 Team GPA.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay earned the No. 1 ranking in the Division I Top 25 with a Team GPA of 3.616. South Dakota State (3.610), DePaul (3.604), South Dakota (3.595), and American University (3.563) rounded out the top five spots on the honor roll.

"I look forward to the release of the Academic Top 25 each summer," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Because our society places so much emphasis on winning games and championships, it is a refreshing change of pace when we recognize those teams that excel in the classroom. Like winning on the court, academic success on a team level does not happen by accident.  It requires a group of student-athletes who realize the importance of education and earning their degrees, coaches who expect and encourage their players to attend class and study, and administrators who provide strong academic support programs for their athletes. The teams composing the Academic Top 25 each year are always the real winners in women's college basketball."

The WBCA Academic Top 25 annually recognizes NCAA Divisions I, II and III; NAIA; and junior/community college women's basketball teams across the nation that carry the highest combined grade point averages (GPAs) inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season, based upon nominations submitted by WBCA-member coaches. The 2011-12 season is the 17th consecutive season in which the WBCA has produced the honor rolls.

 Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity