The American Baseball Coaches Association is proud to honor nearly 300 member college and high school programs with the 2018 ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award. Teams from every level of college and high school baseball were recognized with this year's award, which highlights programs coached by ABCA members that posted a GPA over 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the entire 2017-18 academic year. Maryville College, directed by Cody Church for the past four seasons, was chosen for this prestigious distinction.
"This award is a testament to the types of young men we have in our program," stated Maryville College Head Baseball Coach Cody Church. "To be able to succeed on and off the field at a place like Maryville College takes a special type of individual. Our players, with the help of Noah Bowman and our academic support team, have continued to raise the bar for our baseball program on and off the field."
"We are thrilled to be able to honor all of this year's Team Academic Excellence Award recipients," said ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz. "It is a privilege for our association to have the opportunity to highlight so many deserving teams and recognize all of the hard work they put in off the field throughout the year."
A record number of teams were recognized with the 2017-18 ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award. In total, 292 college and high school programs received this year's award, including 94 high school programs and 77 teams from NCAA Div. III.
Coaches were able to nominate their teams for the ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award following the conclusion of their spring semesters prior to the nomination deadline of July 18. To be honored, teams had to meet the following criteria:
- Must be a high school or college team.
- Head coach must be a current ABCA member.
- Team must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale during the 2017-18 academic year.
The American Baseball Coaches Association has a long tradition of recognizing the achievements of baseball coaches and student-athletes. The ABCA/Rawlings All-America Teams are the nation's oldest, founded in 1949, and the ABCA's awards program also includes the ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Awards, the ABCA/Diamond Regional & National Coaches of the Year and several other major awards such as the ABCA Hall of Fame and the Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award.
Over the past four seasons, Church has guided the Scots to a 100-62 overall mark while going 47-37 in the challenging USA South Athletic Conference. His 2016 squad established a school record for wins in a season after finishing 29-15. This past year senior catcher Evan Ezell earned CoSida First Team Google Cloud Academic All-District before being named the inaugural recipient of the USA South Athletic Conference's post-graduate scholarship for his academic laurels.