Drake Earns 2014-15 MVC All-Academic Award

Des Moines, Iowa -- Drake University has earned the 2014-15 MVC All-Academic Award. The award is given to the institution that  />finishes with the highest grade point average among its student-athletes that participate in The Valley.  It marks the second-straight season that Drake has earned the honor.  Bradley University finished second, and the University of Evansville was third.

Drake University student-athletes complemented their athletic success with one of the strongest academic years in athletic department history. All 18 of Drake’s teams maintained a 3.0 or higher grade point average in 2014-15 and 76.5 percent of Drake student-athletes recorded a 3.0 or higher GPA during the 2014-15 season. A total of 46 Bulldogs finished the season with perfect 4.0 GPAs as half of Drake’s teams recorded their highest team GPAs in program history this season.

The Drake University women’s basketball program ranked fourth in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Academic Top 25 Team Honor Rolls presented by AT&T for the 2014-15 season. The team finished with a 3.599 team GPA in the 2014-15 academic year, had the highest GPA in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Other teams recognized by conferences and national organizations for their team GPAs included rowing, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track & field, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer and softball.

Individually, the Bulldogs led the Missouri Valley Conference with five Elite 18 Award winners. The award is given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA competing at each of the MVC’s 18 championship events.  Claiming the award in 2014-15 were Alen Salibasic (men’s tennis), Emma Huston (women’s track & field), Maddie Johnson (women’s tennis), Rob McCann (men’s track & field) and Brogan Austin (men’s cross country). Over the past two seasons, Drake has had 10 Elite 18 Award winners, more than double any other Valley institution.

The Bulldogs were also honored 273 times by the MVC in the league’s annual academic awards. Eleven Bulldogs earned the prestigious President’s Council Academic Excellence Award, which is given to upperclassmen that maintain a 3.8 or higher cumulative GPA. Eighty-three Bulldogs were named to the Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award list for posting a 3.5 or higher GPA this season and a 3.2 or better cumulative GPA. Finally, 161 Drake student-athletes were named to the league’s honor roll.

The Valley also bestowed its highest student-athlete honor upon a Bulldog, naming Alen Salibasic the Dr. Charlotte West Scholar-Athlete Award winner. The award is given to the MVC student-athlete that best exemplifies academic achievement, athletics excellence and service and leadership. Salibasic graduated with a degree in international business and finance with a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA. He finished the 2015 season with a 25-10 singles record after falling in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championship. This past spring he received the NCAA Elite 89 award for the second straight year for the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships. CoSIDA also announced that Salibasic had earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Men’s At-Large Team.

Salibasic concluded his standout career with an impressive 111-38 record, and led Drake to four NCAA Tournament appearances, four regular season Missouri Valley Conference championships and three MVC Tournament titles. He was named the MVC Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015 and claimed the MVC Individual Singles crown in 2013. He has garnered the MVC Elite 18 award the last three seasons.