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The Official Site of the Northeast Conference


Saint Francis U Captures Northeast Conference Institutional Academic Award

NEC Student-Athletes Combine For Record-High 3.42 Overall GPA


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Somerset, NJ -- It was yet another record-setting year in the classroom for the Northeast Conference (NEC) student-athletes.

In earning its fourth NEC Institutional Academic Award and first since 2010-11, Saint Francis U established a new single-year conference record with a combined 3.423 grade point average. The Red Flash just barely edged out Robert Morris, which finished with a 3.420 GPA. Those two schools, along with LIU Brooklyn (3.401) all broke the previous record of 3.381 set by Sacred Heart in 2016-17.

Overall, the NEC’s 4,500+ student-athletes once again shattered the league record with a combined 3.281 GPA for the 2017-18 academic year. The record has now gone down in each of the last four years. The previous mark set in 2016-17 was a 3.239 GPA.

All ten NEC institutions finished the year with over a 3.0 GPA and 81.7 percent of NEC teams posted a 3.0 or better GPA.

“This was an incredible year for Saint Francis U both on and off the field, and winning the NEC Institutional Academic Award is the icing on the cake,” said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner. “Setting a new conference GPA record, while at the same time winning the NEC Commissioner’s Cup and Building Communities Award shows the extraordinary commitment SFU has made to develop the total student-athlete. Likewise, I couldn’t be any prouder of all the NEC student-athletes who once again raised the bar and established a new standard for success in the classroom. Their dedication to succeed, coupled with the support they receive on campus from coaches and administrators, is second to none.”

“I am pleased to learn that Saint Francis University is the recipient of the Northeast Conference’s Institutional Academic Award,” said Saint Francis U President Fr. Malachi Van Tassell. “Our student-athletes are individuals of discipline, hard work, and fine character, both in the classroom and in their sport. I am proud of them, and thankful for all those who help to educate these men and women of distinction. Earning this award is certainly a point of pride for Saint Francis University.”

Of the 20 Saint Francis U teams that competed in NEC sponsored sports, 18 of them compiled a 3.0 or better GPA and seven of those teams registered at least a 3.50 GPA on the year. The Red Flash captured six NEC Team GPA awards in won their first NEC Commissioner’s Cup this season and captured NEC titles in women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s swimming and diving.

The Institutional Academic Award caps off a remarkable all-around year for Saint Francis U. The Red Flash also won their first NEC Commissioner’s Cup for overall athletic excellence and first NEC Building Communities Award for their dedication to making an impact in the community.

“We couldn’t be more proud of what our student-athletes have accomplished this year in the classroom,” said Susan Robisnon Fruchtl, SFU Director of Athletics. “Our coaches and our student-athletes continue to show what hard work and discipline can accomplish. We are very thankful that our coaches recruit individuals who put forth the effort and focus that they do in academics and athletics. We are also very grateful for how our Student-Athlete Development staff, our Faculty-Athletic Representatives and our Center for Academic Success staff work together with our coaches and student-athletes to strive for excellence in the classroom.”

“It is truly an honor to receive this award from the Northeast Conference and it is a testament to the hard work our student-athletes put in throughout the year in the classroom,” said John Krimmel, SFU Associate Director of Athletics for Student-Athlete and Leadership Development. “Our student-athletes continue to represent everything that is great about college athletics as they continue to make a difference in the community and excel in the classroom and in competition. All of this could not be accomplished without the dedication and support of our coaches, athletic department staff and administration, our dedicated faculty, and the university community. Special thanks to Fr. Malachi and Dr. Frank Montecalvo for their continued support of our student-athletes.”

The Institutional Academic Award is presented annually to the NEC member who attains the highest overall institutional grade-point average amongst student-athletes competing in sports sponsored by the NCAA Division I conference.  The NEC currently sponsors 22 sports: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s bowling, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, women’s swimming, men’s and women’s tennis and women’s volleyball.

2017-18 School-By-School GPAs

School                    NEC Sports     Overall GPA
Bryant                        20            3.256
Central Connecticut           18            3.099  
Fairleigh Dickinson           18            3.214
LIU Brooklyn                  18            3.401
Mount St. Mary’s              16            3.077
Robert Morris                 13            3.420
Sacred Heart                  22            3.368
St. Francis Brooklyn          16            3.194
Saint Francis U               20            3.423
Wagner                        19            3.329

The NEC also recognized those teams that compiled the highest GPA in their respective sports. LIU Brooklyn and Saint Francis U claimed an NEC-best six Team GPA awards apiece.

NEC women’s tennis student-athletes posted the highest overall grades of any sport in the Conference, combining for a 3.594 GPA. The 3.834 grade point average compiled by the LIU Brooklyn men’s golf team was the highest in any sport this past academic year.

LIU baseball and women’s tennis and Fairleigh Dickinson women’s golf not only captured NEC championships, but also registered the highest team GPA in those sports.

2017-18 NEC Team GPA Awards

Sport                            School                    GPA
Baseball                         LIU Brooklyn              3.356
Men’s Basketball                 Sacred Heart              2.920
Women’s Basketball               Robert Morris             3.748
Women’s Bowling                  LIU Brooklyn              3.642
Men’s Cross Country              Wagner                    3.620
Women’s Cross Country            Saint Francis U           3.673
Football                         Sacred Heart              3.060
Men’s Golf                       LIU Brooklyn              3.834
Women’s Golf                     Fairleigh Dickinson       3.710
Men’s Indoor Track & Field       Saint Francis U           3.296
Women’s Indoor Track & Field     Saint Francis U           3.577
Men’s Lacrosse                   Sacred Heart              3.300
Women’s Lacrosse                 LIU Brooklyn              3.536
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field      Saint Francis U           3.296
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field    Saint Francis U           3.577
Men’s Soccer                     LIU Brooklyn              3.407
Women’s Soccer                   Robert Morris             3.634
Softball                         Robert Morris             3.598
Women’s Swimming & Diving        Saint Francis U           3.728
Men’s Tennis                     Fairleigh Dickinson       3.680
Women’s Tennis                   LIU Brooklyn              3.789
Women’s Volleyball               Robert Morris             3.727

NEC Institutional Academic Award Winners

Year       School                                    GPA
2017-18    Saint Francis U                           3.423

2016-17    Sacred Heart                              3.381
2015-16    Sacred Heart                              3.331
2014-15    Sacred Heart/Wagner                       3.279
2013-14    Robert Morris                             3.295
2012-13    Wagner                                    3.305
2011-12    Robert Morris                             3.279
2010-11    Saint Francis U                           3.270
2009-10    Fairleigh Dickinson/Saint Francis U       3.239
2008-09    Saint Francis U                           3.234
2007-08    Wagner                                    3.186
2006-07    Wagner                                    3.147

About The Northeast Conference
Now wrapping up its 37th year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#23), Baltimore (#27), and Hartford/New Haven (#30).  Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 22 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Mount St. Mary’s, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit the league’s official website ( and digital network (, or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, all @NECsports.