Starkville, Miss. - The 2009 Saint Xavier University softball team proved in May that it was one of the NAIA's top teams on the field with a trip to the 2009 NAIA National Tournament in Decatur, Ala. Now the Cougars have shown they are one of the NAIA's top teams in the classroom as well when the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) ranked them No. 8 in the nation with a team grade-point average (GPA) of 3.396 for the 2008-09 academic year. SXU joined McKendree University (No. 3 - 3.470) as the only two NAIA institutions in the state of Illinois to make it on the 2009 NFCA Girls Got Game Top-Ten All-Academic Team.
"This is a huge accomplishment for our team, because it showcases that this group works just as hard in their academic endeavors as they do on the softball diamond," said Saint Xavier University softball coach Myra Minuskin. "To excel in both academics and athletics, it requires a lot of individual discipline by the student-athlete, but when an entire team accomplishes this common goal, it is truly an amazing feat. I could not be more proud of this team. They are a pleasure to work with."
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is the professional growth organization for fastpitch softball coaches from all competitive levels of play. The idea for a softball coaching association first developed from discussions at the National Collegiate Women's Softball Championships in the early 1980s. Although mostly collegiate coaches comprised the organization's membership in the early days, today's college coaches are joined by high school and travel ball/club coaches, umpires as well as other fans of fastpitch softball. In 1997, the Association's membership reached the 2,000 mark, and today there are more than 4,100 members.
Besides services offered to the membership, the NFCA works with USA Today in producing polls for NCAA Division I and high school softball. In addition, NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA polls are produced. The NFCA also conducts collegiate tournament competitions, as well as recruiting camps throughout the nation. An annual NFCA National Convention is held every December.Click here to see the NFCA's Top Ten All-Academic Teams in all divisions