OREM — The National Wrestling Coaches Association announced its annual Division I All-Academic Top 30 Teams and the NWCA Individual All-Academic wrestling team for the 2011-12 wrestling season, and the announcement prominently featured UVU.
Utah Valley University's wrestling squad had the fourth-best team GPA in the country with a 3.27, and UVU junior 149-pounder Josh Wilson was named to the NWCA Individual All-Academic team as he holds a 3.62 GPA in accounting.
Wilson was also the Wolverines' lone NCAA Qualifier this past season and went 2-2 at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
The fourth-place team finish is the highest UVU has ever had after it finished sixth in 2008-09 with a 3.16.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers, led by head coach Mark Manning, had a team GPA of a 3.46 to take home top honors for the first time in the history of the program. The 3.46 GPA is also the third-highest ever for a team.
Last year's team champion Harvard University finished a close second with a 3.37 GPA. This marks the ninth time that the Crimson under the direction of head coach Jay Weiss has finished in the Top 10.
Finishing out the Top 10 teams were American (3.33), Utah Valley (3.27), Indiana (3.26), Stanford (3.23), Princeton (3.21), Brown (3.21), Lehigh (3.18) and Davidson (3.17).
Four of the top five teams from this year's NCAA Division I Championships were recognized in the top 30 teams, which includes team champion Penn State, Minnesota, Cornell and Ohio State.
For teams to be eligible for consideration, the team GPA is comprised of 12 student athletes, including the 10 wrestlers that were the entries in the NCAA tournament conference qualifier. If teams had less than 10 entries for their respective qualifiers, they may fill those spots with wrestlers that competed in at least one varsity dual during the season.
On this year's individual all-academic team there are 87 total athletes, five NCAA champions, three NCAA runner-ups, 23 All-Americans and 77 NCAA qualifiers.
The 2012 individual with the highest GPA was Northern Illinois' Brad Dieckhaus who has a 4.0.
This year's NCAA Elite 88 Winner Daniel Mitchell of American comes in at No. 2 with a 3.95 GPA followed by Tristan Warner of Old Dominion with a 3.95, Nebraska's Tucker Lane with a 3.94 and Michael Klingsmith of Nebraska.
American University and Nebraska tied for the most individuals on the team with five apiece while Lehigh, Penn State and Virginia all had four individuals make the team.
"The NWCA All-Academic Team and Individual Team is one of the best acknowledgements that we can give to our coaches and athletes at the end of a physically grueling season. These 87 young men have proved that they are not only talented competitors but are leaders in the classroom as well. The NWCA Board of Directors and staff look forward to watching these student-athletes continue their success at the collegiate level and eventually as the leaders of the future once they earn their college degrees," said Mike Moyer, NWCA executive director.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com