Smart Moves in the Classroom, Student-Athletes Break Academic Records


Jessica Piland

Student-athletes gathered for an academic luncheon, in which they were recognized for their academic achievements. Photo by Jessica Piland/FGCU Athletics

Connor Hay, Staff Writer

As those who played a sport in high school can attest, it is hard to do well both academically and athletically, but FGCU’s athletes have many who do just that. FGCU Athletics set a term-record GPA in the fall 2022 semester with an overall GPA of 3.67.

There were seven programs that exceeded the overall GPA. A large credit to the student-athlete academic success at FGCU is the work that is done by the Hartley Academic Resource Center (HARC).

The resources at HARC helps student-athletes manage their time between school and sports. The center, located next to Alico Arena, provides both individual and group tutoring. Monitored study halls are conducted at the HARC as well. It was founded in 2017 thanks to the donation of Mike and Karen Hartley. 

Dr. Thomas Roberts is a Faculty Athletics Representative at the HARC, as well as being an interim dean for the College of Education. One of his roles as a Faculty Athletics Representative is emphasizing the importance of academics at FGCU. 

“I’ve found student athletes at FGCU to be very responsible and dedicated to their studies,” Roberts said. “Another one of the ways that the HARC helps student athletes is by communicating between them.” 

One of the main problems student-athletes deal with is having to travel for their competitions. When this happens, Roberts steps in to help. 

“In such instances, I’ll communicate with both the student athlete and the professor in an attempt to remedy the situation,” Roberts said. 

On Feb. 8, the 14th annual Hillmyer-Tremont Foundation Athletics Academic Honors Luncheon was held. Dr. Roberts was honored with the Hillmyer-Tremont Foundation Special Recognition Award for his work. This award is given every year to someone that has supported the student-athletes at FGCU in both academic and athletic capacities.

Ninety-five student-athletes were also honored at the event for their academic success. During the fall 2022 semester, 51 student-athletes earned a perfect 4.0 GPA and 243 student-athletes earned a 3.0 or higher. It was also the 27th consecutive semester where FGCU’s population student-athletes earned a higher GPA than the general student body.

Matt Botsford, head coach of the women’s volleyball team, says he is thankful for the help that HARC provides for his team, especially Assistant Director Monica Estes. 

“The staff in HARC does an excellent job of helping to provide our student-athletes with daily support as it relates to their academic path,” Botsford said. “Monica has been great with our team in helping to advise and guide in a positive fashion, while maintaining a proactive approach to each semester.” 

Beach volleyball earned the highest individual GPA for the fall 2022 semester, sporting an average of 3.86. The softball team earned the highest team GPA of 3.78. The most improved team sport GPA was the men’s basketball team as they improved 0.67 in their overall GPA. 

Men’s golf, men’s soccer, baseball, beach volleyball, men’s tennis, volleyball and swimming and diving all set single-term records for their GPA’s.

The volleyball team achieved academic success while also pulling off another strong season. The team earned a 26-7 overall record and defeated Liberty to win the ASUN Championship in back-to-back seasons. 

Despite traveling to Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee during the fall 2022 semester, the swim and dive team was also able to score a single-term record GPA. 

Overall, FGCU Athletics was able to put together one of their best semesters both academically and athletically.