Spider men's golf team scores highest GPA among all U.S. colleges

September 24, 2021

SPIDER PRIDE

At UR, athletes who are exceptional students are par for the course. And in 2020-21, the Richmond men's golf team had a combined GPA of 3.85 that ranked first among the more than 1,000 college teams across all NCAA divisions, the NAIA, and the NJCAA. The distinction earned them Academic National Champion honors from the Golf Coaches Association of America.

Lou Baker, a junior, was also named to the A-10’s all-academic team for the 2020-21 season, and had the highest GPA among male student athletes in his grade last year.

“I owe the majority of it to the culture of my teammates,” Baker said. “Our team is really good about getting ahead on our work. Nobody plays better when they are thinking about homework or studying. When we are away at tournaments, and I see my teammates doing work or studying, it reminds me that I should be doing the same thing. We keep each other in check this way.”

In NCAA Division I, Richmond's GPA topped the list of 41 teams with a combined GPA of 3.5 or higher during the 2020-21 season. Among all men's college golf programs, the Spiders (3.85) edged Division III's Augsburg University (3.84) for the top GPA.

The award is the latest in a long string of academic honors earned by the Richmond men's golf team, which has been coached by Adam Decker for the last 16 seasons. 

“During the recruiting process I look for prospects that are going to be a good fit both on and off the golf course,” Decker said. “We have a fantastic team culture, where the guys are all wanting to put in the time to honor their commitments to school and team.”

Decker said dedication to excel on and off the fairway is something he values most about his team.

“I’m extremely proud of the team for achieving this honor,” he said. “They work very hard. I see them studying in the van on golf trips and in the hotels after playing for 10 or 11 hours that day. It’s a balancing act, and I am very happy to see their efforts recognized on a national level.”

In June, all nine members of the golf team were selected to the Atlantic 10's Commissioner's Honor Roll for recording a GPA of 3.0 or higher during the 2020-21 season. In April, the program won the Men's Team Academic Award for the second straight year for having the highest GPA among all men's sports teams at Richmond. 

This marks the fourth straight year Richmond has been named a GCAA All-Academic Team for posting a GPA of 3.0 or higher and the second-straight year the Spiders have earned the GCAA Presidents Special Recognition for registering a GPA or 3.5 or higher.