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W&M head coaches lap the field in NCAA academic progress ratings

The William & Mary Athletics Department once again proved itself among the nation’s elite academic and athletic programs this month with the release of the NCAA’s head coach APR database.

The multi-year APR scores for head coaches in six sports – football, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s indoor track and field, and women’s outdoor track and field – are included in the database, dating back to 2003-04.

Eight current and former coaches were included from the College, including long-time mentors Jimmye Laycock ’71 (football), Tony Shaver (men’s basketball), Debbie Taylor ’86 (women’s basketball), and Dan Stimson (Director of women’s track and field).

For the years tracked, W&M’s APR scores were, on average, 34 points above the national standard, 982-948. Included in those scores were five perfect scores of 1,000, -- three in Debbie Taylor’s program alone (2003-04, 2007-08, 2008-09) and two in women’s track and field (both indoors and outdoors in 2004-05 and 2005-06).

As reported by the NCAA, the goal of the head coach database is “to create more transparency in the Academic Performance Program and strengthen the accountability of coaches for the academic performance of their student-athletes.”

No penalties are assessed to coaches or teams based on the head coaches database, and the program will be expanded to include coaches in all sports beginning next year.

Meanwhile, three William & Mary gymnasts recently received first-team Academic All-American designation by the College Gymnastics Association for the 2010 season: Chris Lynch ’10 (neuroscience), senior Matt Holmes (computer science and public policy) and sophomore Vietvuong Vo (neuroscience).

Lynch received his first team Academic All-American honors for the fourth straight year, while Holmes was honored for a third straight year.

 Second-team Academic All-American honors were awarded to Derek Gygax ’10 (biology) and Josh Fried ’10 (kinesiology and health sciences); seniors Kyle Sneeden (computer science and economics) and Dave Ellis (business process management and consulting); junior Steve Deutsch (business); and sophomores Matt Burns (neuroscience) and Kris Yeager (American studies).

As a team, William & Mary continues to lead the nation with more individual Academic All-American honors than any other university in men’s gymnastics. An overall team grade point average of 3.198 placed William and Mary sixth in the 2010 national academic standings.

In addition, the Tribe gymnasts finished the season 14th in the final NCAA rankings for men’s gymnastics.