Despite the obstacles COVID-19 created for the 2019–20 University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo student-athletes, the Vulcan teams managed to post the highest overall athletic department GPA since joining the Pacific West Conference in the late 1990s.
All 12 Vulcan teams and more than 200 student-athletes combined for a GPA of 3.191 for the 2019–20 academic year, beating last year’s average and previous best of 3.078. Additionally, 10 of the 12 UH Hilo teams improved their GPAs from a year ago.
“I cannot be more proud of our student-athletes and their academic accomplishments,” said UH Hilo Athletic Director Patrick Guillen. “The daily schedule of going to class, practicing and competing is incredibly demanding, not to mention the time spent traveling. For them to achieve this success is nothing short of amazing.”
The Vulcan women’s basketball team was also named the Ramon Goya Academic Team of the Year for earning a team GPA of 3.541. Half of the Vulcan teams had a 3.3 GPA or better, including men’s golf (3.427), women’s cross country (3.372), women’s soccer (3.368) and women’s tennis (3.302).
Individual student-athletes were also recognized as UH Hilo Scholar Athletes. To be eligible for this award, the student-athletes must be a sophomore or higher, and have completed at least three semesters at UH Hilo. All GPAs listed are cumulative.
Among the student-athletes were men’s golfer Evan Merrier, who was named the Joe and Harriet Estrella Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, and women’s soccer defender Hedda Bjerklund, who was honored as the Sakai and Harue Wakakuwa Female Scholar Athlete of the Year.