KANSAS CITY – Taylor University recently had all 18 of its varsity athletics programs honored as NAIA Scholar-Teams, ranking TU fifth in the nation and second among schools that placed each of their teams on the list. Taylor has now had all 18 programs earn Scholar-Team status in each of the past four years.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced that 1,585 teams from around the nation had earned Scholar-Team honors by posting a team grade-point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale during the 2015-2016 academic year.
All 18 of Taylor's teams post a GPA of 3.20 or higher, making TU the only institution in the nation to have more than 15 teams finish at 3.20 or above. The Trojans also trailed only Olivet Nazarene (20) atop the list of schools to have all of their programs garner Scholar-Team recognition.
In addition to leading the nation with 18 Scholar-Teams with a GPA over the 3.20 mark, Taylor had 16 teams finish at 3.30 and above and had seven of its nine women's teams finish at 3.50 or better. The Trojans topped the Crossroads League in team grade-point average in men's indoor track and field, men's outdoor track and field, volleyball, women's cross country, women's indoor track and field and women's outdoor track and field and had 15-of-18 teams rank inside the top-three in their league in team GPA.
On the national scale, Taylor placed three teams inside the top-40 overall programs in the NAIA and had four inside the top-65 teams in the nation. Taylor's women's cross country program turned in the 15th-highest team GPA out of the 1,585 teams to be honored with a mark of 3.77. The TU volleyball program was next with a 3.71 mark to rank 29th, with women's outdoor track and field posting a 3.70 mark to rank 38th and women's indoor track and field ranking 63rd with a 3.66 team GPA.
The Taylor volleyball (3.71), men's indoor track and field (3.39) and football (3.21) programs each ranked second in the nation in their respective sport, with women's cross country (3.77), women's outdoor track and field (3.70), women's indoor track and field (3.66) and men's outdoor track and field (3.37) ranking inside the top-five for their respective sports.
In all, Taylor boasted 15 teams with top-25 GPAs for their respective sport, had seven teams rank among the top-five and saw all nine of its men's programs finish inside the top-20 teams in the nation for their sport.
Taylor has now seen each of its 18 teams named as NAIA Scholar-Teams for four-straight years. TU has led the NAIA in percentage of teams to earn the honor in each of those four years, while ranking No. 2 in 2012-2013, No. 3 in 2013-2014, No. 1 in 2014-2015 and No. 5 in 2015-2016 in total number of Scholar-Teams.
Taylor's 2015-2016 NAIA Scholar-Teams
Women's Cross Country – 3.77
Volleyball – 3.71
Women's Outdoor Track and Field – 3.70
Women's Indoor Track and Field – 3.66
Men's Cross Country – 3.57
Women's Golf – 3.55
Women's Soccer – 3.54
Women's Basketball – 3.53
Men's Tennis – 3.44
Softball – 3.40
Men's Indoor Track and Field – 3.39
Women's Tennis – 3.39
Men's Golf – 3.39
Men's Outdoor Track and Field – 3.37
Baseball – 3.33
Men's Basketball – 3.32
Men's Soccer – 3.28