The pressures of practicing 20+ hours a week, traveling and competing in meets, along with studying as full-time students doesn’t slow down the unstoppable Southern Utah University Gymnastics team. Recently, this scholarly squad’s entire roster of 19 athletes yet again qualified as All-Academic Honorees in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference.
To qualify for this honor, athletes must obtain a 3.2 cumulative GPA and appear on the squad list for the 2019 season. Not only did SUU’s entire roster appear on this list, but of the nine athletes between Boise State, Brigham Young, Utah State, and SUU who received 4.0 cumulative GPAs this season, three were Flippin’ Birds.
“We have always heavily stressed academic excellence within our program. It’s something that every recruit knows coming in our door,” said Women’s Gymnastics Head Coach Scott Bauman. “They’re all incredible students. They take the academic part of everything very seriously.”
The Flippin’ Birds also consistently hold high Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores. The APR score provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in every sport. All teams must meet an academic threshold of 930 to qualify for the postseason and can face penalties for continued low academic performance.
The Flippin’ Birds APR score has never dipped below 974. From 2014-2017, their hard work shined as the team held a perfect 1000 multi-year score.
“We’ve been really fortunate with the quality of commitment from our athletes to graduate and finish their schooling,” said Bauman. “When we travel, they study constantly. I’ve always been very proud of them for that.”
Part of the teams academic success is due the the many available resources. Their women’s locker room was recently updated and remodeled to be a more academically functional space. They swapped out the traditional wooden benches and cubbies for comfortable couches and open floor space- perfect for studying between workouts.
The Flippin’ Birds also have many resources available on campus including the tutoring and writing centers, in addition to the academic coordinators for athletics and the support staff.
“It takes a village with a program like this,” continued Bauman. “The professors know the student athlete schedules are brutal, but they still bend over backwards to help everyone out. SUU students have a huge leg up on other places just because of the caring faculty. It’s one of the major reasons our students are more successful. Professors help the students and they work with them to be successful.”
This 2019-2020 season, the Flippin’ Birds are looking forward to building on their amazing 2018-2019 season. Learn more about SUU Women’s Gymnastics.
Story and Photography Courtesy of: SUU Marketing Communication