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COMMUNITY VOICE

Overall success of IPFW athletics shows quite a 'bang for the buck'

Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 12:01 am

IPFW is proud to share that this has been a banner year in school athletic history as we continue to build champions in the classroom, in the community and on the field of play. We stress three values to our student-athletes: academic excellence, social responsibility and athletic intensity.

Individual kudos to junior Amanda Hyde, the Summit League Player of the Year in women’s basketball, who was also named the Summit League Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the I-AAA Athletic Directors Association Scholar Athlete of the Year and a Capital One Academic All-American.

Sophomore Emily Spencer was named the Summit League Player of the Year in women’s volleyball, and Anita Henestrosa the Player of the Year in women’s tennis.

We are especially proud of our talented coaching staff, including legendary men’s volleyball head coach Arnie Ball, who this winter was given the prestigious honor of earning a spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Additionally, women’s soccer head coach Margaret Saurin was named the Summit League Coach of the Year.

Tangible progress has been made on many fronts. Certainly one of the most noticeable areas is in academic achievement, where we saw 69 percent of our student-athletes end the past year with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and an athletics department average of 3.18 – the highest in IPFW athletics history. For the 10th straight year student-athletes achieved an average GPA above 3.0.

Additionally, athletics department students and staff contributed more than 1,000 hours of community service participating in 19 different community projects.

Our teams are also becoming much more competitive, with 15 of 16 programs advancing to their respective league tournaments last year, including three Summit League Tournament titles in women’s volleyball, women’s tennis and women’s softball.

The 16 teams in the athletics department had a combined .530 win percentage (169-150-2), with student-athletes earning 30 player of the week honors. One student-athlete, Tessa McGill of the women’s volleyball team, had a tryout with Team USA, while another, Larissa Franklin, made the Canadian National Team to compete for her country starting on July 11 in Oklahoma City.

The Mastodons are producing this level of success with a budget

close to but not equal to the majority of its opponents and like-institutions. The athletics department has a yearly budget of $7,097,449 with $2,821,898 of that coming directly from the university, and the remaining amount coming from athletics ticket sales, donors, student fees and sponsorships. The average budget of institutions like us (NCAA Division I schools without football) is $12,756,000, with direct institutional support averaging $6,775,000 per year.

USA Today’s report of all public NCAA Division I institutions showed that IPFW has the lowest percentage of institutional support of all non-football playing institutions in the Summit League. Our percentage of direct institutional support is 39.8 percent of our annual athletics department budget, which is approximately 13 percent below the average for all Division I non-football schools.

The tremendous success athletics has enjoyed this past year demonstrates quite the “bang for the buck” given our lower annual budget. We continue to set high goals, both academically and in performance, for ourselves and will continue our efforts to increase financial support for athletics.

Thank you for your interest in IPFW athletics, and we look forward to seeing you at our games in 2013-14.

Feel the rumble!

Tommy Bell is director of athletics and recreation at Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne.