by Bryan Jackson, university communications
HILTON HEAD, S.C. - For the first time, Georgia College & State University has won the coveted Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Commissioner's Cup, recognizing it as the overall top athletic program in the conference. GCSU edged out Armstrong Atlantic State University for the honor.
"Winning the Commissioner's Cup is proof that you can have excellence in the classroom as well as on the field," said GCSU President Dorothy Leland. "Not only did Georgia College lead the conference in athletics, it also led the conference in the number of students recognized for their academic success."
Georgia College won the Commissioner's Cup with a total of 72 points, for a rating of .758. Second place Armstrong Atlantic State earned 62.5 points, for a .735 rating. The winner is determined by calculating the number of points possible to each school, given the number of sports they participate in, divided by the number of points earned during the year.
"The Georgia College Bobcats had an exceptionally strong year, thanks to the strong leadership of our coaching staff and the outstanding performance of our student-athletes," said GCSU Athletic Director Jud Damon. "Nine of our 10 teams made appearances in NCAA tournaments this season, and six of our seven team sports finished with winning records."
The Bobcats won the men's tennis regular-season championship and finished in the top three in women's soccer, baseball, softball and golf and were in the top half of the PBC standings in all 10 of their intercollegiate programs.
Georgia College also saw 30 of its student-athletes named to PBC Academic All-Conference teams during the 2008-2009 season. Soccer had the most with nine, while men's basketball got three of the five spots on the first team, and men's golf got three of the five total slots on their all-conference team.
To be eligible for the academic all-conference team, a student-athlete must be either a starter or significant contributor, have achieved a 3.20 cumulative grade point average and completed at least one academic year at the university.
Other recent PBC honors for Georgia College included:
o GCSU had 110 student-athletes make the 2007-08 Peach Belt Honor Roll (earning a 3.0 or better GPA for the school year), the most of any school in the conference.
o Men's Basketball won the first PBC Team Sportsmanship Award in men's basketball;
o GCSU won Coach of the Year honors in both men's basketball and men's tennis;
"It's been a great year for our Bobcats," President Leland said.
Visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports.