(Editor’s note: University of Montana media release)
MISSOULA — A year ago, the Montana football team set a new program record with a 2.99 GPA in the 2018 spring semester. In the fall of 2018, the Griz one-upped themselves, setting another record with a team 3.0 GPA.
With the 2019 spring session officially in the books, the Grizzlies have sustained their record-setting academic success, posting a 3.0 GPA team for the second straight semester.
To get there, the Griz had five players secure a perfect 4.0 GPA, with 13 earning a spot on the Dean’s List with a 3.5 or better, and a total of 52 players landing a 3.0 or better. Dante Olson, the nation’s leading tackler in 2018, was one of the Grizzlies who achieved a perfect 4.0, showing off his academic prowess to cap his record-setting junior season.
Added all together, the Griz have a cumulative 3.6 team GPA, which averages each player’s individual cumulative total since arriving on campus.
It’s remarkable academic success in the world of college football and success that head coach Bobby Hauck expects to be the norm at UM long into the future.
“Our guys are doing a nice job of taking care of their academic life and their future in terms of getting their degrees. Obviously, that’s of paramount importance in this program. You can’t be a participant without emphasizing your academics. So, I’m proud of our team, and I’m proud of those efforts,” said Hauck.
“The culture has been developed within our team that the expectation is to compete academically as well as on the football field, and thus our GPAs are rising.”
While Montana’s academic success is reaching new heights, it’s nothing new for the program to excel in the classroom.
Earlier this year one Grizzly took home Montana’s top academic prize at the annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet in April, with sophomore Michael McGinnis earning the President’s Award for best overall GPA amongst all student-athletes in Grizzly Athletics.
Following the 2018 season, Montana had 24 Academic All-Big Sky selections – the most in program history and the ninth-most in a single-season in conference history.
Since the Big Sky began presenting academic awards in 1978, Montana has now had second-most of any other team in the league with 511, and has had the most Academic All-American’s in conference history with 34.
Montana placed more than 20 percent of those 511 honorees during Hauck’s first tenure at UM from 2003-2009 with 104 in that span – the most or second-most in the league each year. Proof-positive of the veteran coaches’ commitment to developing well-rounded student-athletes.
“As a coach and a mentor to these guys, I see the big picture of their future. Many of them see football as never-ending. I know it’s going to end someday, and I want them to have access to career opportunities that a degree provides,” said Hauck.
2019 Spring Semester President’s List (4.0 GPA)
2019 Spring Semester Dean’s List (3.5+ GPA)