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Men's Golf named Academic National Champion

A photo of the 2016-17 Kalamazoo College Men's Golf Team.
2016-17 Kalamazoo College Men's Golf Team

The Kalamazoo College men's golf team was named 2016-17 NCAA Division III Academic National Champion by the Golf Coaches Association of America on Wednesday.

The men's golf team achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.739, the highest in the nation among Division III teams. Kalamazoo is one of 187 teams in all divisions earning the Team Academic Award with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Hornets are one of 39 teams earning President's Special Recognition with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and one of just seven Division III schools earning that distinction. This is the third consecutive year the team has earned President's Special Recognition.

"This is an incredible honor obtained by an outstanding group of student-athletes," said Head Coach Mitch Wilson. "Over their four years, our seniors have transformed the culture of our program -- both on the course and in the classroom. I know our underclassmen will have the same high expectations for our team going forward. I am so proud of these young men and grateful to be a part of their lives."

The 2016-17 men's golf team had a great year on the course as well finishing third in the MIAA, the program's best finish since 1993. The team also competed in the MIAA Spring Qualifying Tournament for the second consecutive year and was ranked as high as 49th in the nation. The Hornets finished the year ranked 51st nationally and sixth in the region. The members of the team were:

Seniors:  Riley Boyd, Jack Fowler, Phil Ritchie, David Smith
Junior: Alex White
Sophomores: Nick Ludka, Travis Veenhuis
Freshmen: Matthew Holmes-Hackerd, Will Mierz 

"Receiving this recognition for our academic performance is an unbelievable honor," said Riley Boyd '17. "Everyone saw the work we put in on the course with the scores we posted, but this shows how hard we hit the books. Having academic and athletic success is something we pride ourselves on and I think this is a huge testament to the culture that has been created over the past four years by Coach Wilson and all the guys that have played for the team."