CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The Chattanooga Mocs men's golf team was honored for perfection by the NCAA Thursday. The team achieved a perfect multi-year APR score for the years 2008-11. It is the first program at UTC to attain such a mark in the multi-year format and ranks inside the top 10 percent of NCAA Division I athletic teams covering all sports.
All-in-all, the NCAA honored 954 teams with Public Recognition Awards. It ranged from 560 women's programs along with 394 men's or mixed squads. There were 263 schools with at least one team listed on the top APR list for its sport.
"We are very proud of all our accomplishments on the course, in the classroom and in the community," head coach Mark Guhne stated. "Our athletics mission really says it all...it clearly states what is expected of coaches, student-athletes and administrators for that matter.
"It places the proper perspective on what we are here for, what we are all about," Guhne added. "It is especially exciting at this time to shine the light on those accomplishments across the board excelling in every phase we can."
The team embodies the mission of the UTC Athletics Department which is to guide, encourage and support our Student-Athletes in their quest for comprehensive excellence - academically, athletically and socially. Above all else, we prepare Students for productive and meaningful lives.
All by himself, senior first team All-American Stephan Jaeger (Munich, Germany) hammers home the comprehensive excellence of the program. He is a Dean's List student and should repeat as Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar this summer. Jaeger is one of 10 first team All-Americans with three wins in 2011-12 including two in postseason play. He also coordinated the Mocs community service efforts working the City of Chattanooga Parks & Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Services C.H.I.P.S. program in 2011-12.
Academically, the program's perfect multi-year APR score tells just a part of the story. While maintaining eligibility and graduating is important in athletics, the Mocs have excelled in the classroom. Four Mocs earned Dean's List mention and another two joined the quartet on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll in 2011-12.
Sophomore Davis Bunn (Knoxville, Tenn.) returned to the Dean's List for the third time in four semesters joined by Jaeger, Alex Ratliff (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Chris Robb (Aberdeenshire, Scotland). Ratliff has been a perennial member of the Dean's List and Jaeger graduated in May with better than a 3.5 grade point average majoring in Psychology.
During the 2008-11 time period, the Mocs have had two All-America scholars in Jaeger and Derek Rende (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) along with multiple Academic All-SoCon, Dean's List and Athletic Director's Honor Roll mentions. The team's commitment to the classroom is mirrored on the course as UTC won three Southern Conference crowns and competed in NCAA Regionals all four years advancing to the NCAA Championship twice.
Athletically, the team is coming of its best championship season all-time. Chattanooga won its fifth Southern Conference Championship by 19 shots and followed that with its first NCAA Regional title in Bowling Green beating the likes of UCLA, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Clemson. Jaeger swept both medalist honors as well leading UTC to the NCAA Championship finishing 18th at famed Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles.
Socially, the Mocs have been very active the last two years with the City of Chattanooga Parks & Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Services C.H.I.P.S. program. C.H.I.P.S. Golf is one of the many programs Therapeutic Recreation Services facilitates for individuals who have disabilities. C.H.I.P.S. makes it possible for anyone regardless of his or her disability to be able to play the game of golf.
UTC student-athletes have been active playing rounds on regular basis with the C.H.I.P.S. golfers. The team also hosted a golf skills open house for the group last year at the Player Development Complex.
"It is a great honor," added Director of Athletics Rick Hart. "I am always excited by the accomplishments of our student-athletes and coaches, but especially so in this area. The men's golf team exemplifies our mission to establish comprehensive excellence as the UTC standard.
"All of our teams have made great strides in the retention and academic success of our student-athletes," Hart continued. "It began as a point of emphasis and is now a part of the culture of our department. This score sets the bar high, and I hope in the coming years it will be matched by several other programs."
In seven years of the NCAA's academic reform program, 2,946 different teams have received Public Recognition Awards, representing 46 percent of eligible teams during that time. Of that total, 209 teams have received Public Recognition Awards each of the seven years of the program.
Each year, the NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I team through the annual scorecard of academic achievement, known as APR. The score measures eligibility and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years.
The student-athletes at UTC tied a program record with a 2.97 departmental grade point average for the 2012 spring semester. This is the fourth straight term the Mocs posted at least a 2.92 and the sixth consecutive semester more than half of the student-athletes made the Athletics Director's Honor Roll with a 3.0 or higher g.p.a.
The complete list of multi-year APR scores for Division I is scheduled for release on June 20.
ABOUT CHATTANOOGA MEN'S GOLF
The Chattanooga Mocs men's golf program is one of the elite programs in the nation. It has regularly ranked in the top 50 in the nation since Mark Guhne took over in 2005. In his seven campaigns, UTC has ranked No. 1 twice and finished as high No. 12 in 2008. The team has won 16 times in those seven seasons including the 2012 NCAA Bowling Green Regional and four Southern Conference Championships (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012). There have been 12 medalists including 2012 NCAA Regional and SoCon Championship winner Stephan Jaeger. Jaeger was named first team PING All-American joining Jonathan Hodge who was second team in 2008.GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs, or on Twitter, www.twitter.com/GoMocs. Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.