(STILLWATER, Oklahoma / December 14, 2018) – The Oklahoma State football team was honored with the American Football Coaches Association’s 2018 Academic Achievement Award, it was announced today.
OSU is one of five football programs to receive the honor this year, joining Clemson, Kansas State, Nevada and Pittsburgh. The NCAA’s single-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) is used to select the winner and all five schools posted perfect scores of 1,000 for 2016-17.
This is the first time OSU has earned this recognition, which will be presented to head coach Mike Gundy at the AFCA Honors Luncheon on January 7 at the AFCA Convention in San Antonio.
OSU has excelled in the classroom during Gundy’s tenure as head coach. The Cowboys led the Big 12 and set a program record with 26 overall Academic All-Big 12 selections in 2018. The three highest totals for first-team Academic All-Big 12 selections in Oklahoma State football history came from 2015-17, as OSU had 13 players honored in 2015, 12 in 2016 and 20 in 2017.
The Cowboy football program’s 2016-17 APR of 1,000 and its multi-year rate of 969 both represent the highest it has achieved since the APR was implemented in 2003. The program’s current multi-year rate was an improvement over the previous year for the fifth consecutive year.
From an individual standpoint, running back Justice Hill was honored as the 2018 Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition for the second straight year. Cowboy Back Britton Abbott also bagged his second consecutive CoSIDA Academic All-America honor in 2018. OSU leads the nation with five CoSIDA Academic All-America honors the past two years (two from Hill, two from Abbott and one from Brad Lundblade).
In 2017, Lundblade was selected to serve a three-year tenure as a Big 12 representative for the Division I autonomy governance. Also in 2017, he was a finalist for the National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy, which is also known as the Academic Heisman.
Since 2005, the OSU football team has produced 40 Arthur Ashe Sports Scholars, an award which honors student-athletes of color with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher, including three Arthur Ashe scholars in 2018 – Justice Hill, Chris Lacy and Kirk Tucker.
Five Gundy-era players earned national recognition for significantly improving their grade point average, as Jeremy Smith (2012), Desmond Roland (2015) Marcell Ateman (2016), Vincent Taylor (2017) and James Washington (2018) were all presented with the National Academic Momentum award.
The Cowboys take the field to play in their 13th consecutive bowl game when they face Missouri in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on December 31 in Memphis. Fans can purchase tickets at okstate.com or by calling the OSU Ticket Office at 877-ALL-4-OSU.