August 26, 2003
Men's tennis team captures academic national title
Cowley men's tennis coach Larry Grose captures another academic national championship.
Led by Distinguished Academic All-American Tim Frick, Cowley County Community College's men's tennis team captured the 2003 Academic National Championship with a cumulative 3.47 grade-point average.
Larry Grose's team was one of seven Cowley teams to finish in the top five in the nation academically during the 2002-2003 school year.
Frick, who was a sophomore from Shawnee, Okla., had a 3.91 GPA to lead the team. Six other Cowley student-athletes also were named Distinguished Academic All-Americans.
They are Shelby Bruey from Caldwell, 4.0 GPA, volleyball; Brad Smith from Maize, 3.95 GPA, baseball; Kelle Stinson from Winfield, 3.87 GPA, women's tennis; Dijana Kojic from Bosnia, 3.86 GPA, cross country and track; Suzanne Fry from Arkansas City, 3.85 GPA, women's tennis; and Emily Simmons from Larned, 3.81 GPA, softball.
Kyle Harken from Leawood, 3.78 GPA, baseball; Tiffany Taylor from Edna, 3.74 GPA, softball; and Josh Cobble from Duncan, Okla., 3.75 GPA, men's tennis, were named Academic All-Americans.
While the Tiger men's tennis team was capturing the academic national title, the following Cowley sports teams finished in the top five nationally: Women's tennis, second, 3.67 GPA; women's indoor track, second, 3.14 GPA; men's cross country, fourth, 3.13 GPA; men's golf, fourth, 3.22 GPA; women's cross country, fifth, 3.14 GPA; and softball, tied for fifth, 3.45 GPA.
The women's basketball team was sixth nationally with a 3.47 cumulative GPA, while the women's outdoor track team finished tied for eighth with a 3.06 GPA, and the volleyball team tied for 13th with a cumulative 3.39 GPA.
Tom Saia, Cowley's director of athletics, said the results speak for themselves.
"Our coaches do an excellent job of making sure our athletes take care of business in the classroom," Saia said. "That's what the students are here for first. It's so important to get an education first, then make awesome contributions on the field."
Bruce Watson, ADA compliance officer and minority student counselor, monitors the academic progress of each student athlete. If a student misses class or falls behind, Watson notifies the coach. Together, potential problems are worked out before the student gets into trouble academically.
This is the second academic national title for Grose, who is entering his 17th season at Cowley.
"It's really part of our recruiting process" in men's tennis, Grose said. "We make it a priority to go to class. If one of my players misses class, he doesn't practice. And if you don't practice, you don't play." Grose said each fall, he talks to his players about the importance of making good grades.
"I try to set the expectations of the student-athletes higher," he said. "In my team meeting, I show them the plaques we've won and tell them that we want those kinds of awards for our program and for themselves, too."
Grose said his program is set up to allow student-athletes to succeed, both in the classroom and on the court.
"We have a reasonable program that allows the athlete to rest and go to the library and get studying done," Grose said. "It's not an eat, sleep, breathe and live tennis type of situation."