35th Anniversary - Feature 12
|Saint Louis' sister-and-brother tandem|
Theresa, left, and Kevin Lisch
Throughout the Atlantic 10's 35 years of existence, the Conference has had numerous successes on the field and on the court, and many teams, athletes and coaches have been honored for their athletic performances. Academic achievements have been equally important to the Conference and its member institutions, and the dedication of A-10 student-athletes has led to many victories in the classroom as well.
In 35 years, the Atlantic 10 has produced more than 800 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, with the 14 current A-10 institutions accounting more than half of those selections, including 40 over the past two years. One of the most notable selections came at the end of the 2008-09 academic year, when Saint Louis men's and women's basketball student-athletes and siblings Kevin Lisch and Theresa Lisch were both named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, marking what is believed to be the first time in A-10 history that a brother and sister had received the award within the same season.
Theresa Lisch was a first-team Academic All-American, making her the first Saint Louis women's basketball student-athlete to receive the honor, and in 2009 she was also named the A-10 women's basketball Student-Athlete of the Year. The communication sciences and disorders major was the first SLU women's basketball player to earn A-10 first-team all-conference honors, and during the 2008-09 season, she broke five school records and tied a sixth.
|The A-10 had 65 teams with|
perfect graduation rates during 2009-10
By the time Kevin Lisch was named a third-team CoSIDA Academic-All American, he had already earned his undergraduate degree in business administration and was enrolled in Saint Louis' M.B.A. program. Serving as a team captain, Lisch led the Billikens in scoring with 14.1 points a game and was second in the league in free throw shooting at 83.2 percent. During that season, Saint Louis head coach Rick Majerus described Lisch as a one-of-a-kind player, telling Sports Illustrated writer Nina Mandell, "There aren't many people like that in life: leading scorer, best defender, best student, captain...and the hardest worker on the team." Majerus' words could just as easily have applied to Theresa Lisch, and their unique and remarkable achievement is one of the highlights of the A-10's history of academic and athletic success.
The Atlantic 10 has also performed very well in terms of the NCAA's Graduation Success Report (GSR) and Academic Progress Rate (APR). According to the GSR, the Conference boasted 65 teams with a perfect graduation rate during the 2009-10 academic year. In June of 2010, 841 teams were publicly recognized for posting multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of their respective sport, and 59 of those teams belonged to the Atlantic 10. All 14 A-10 institutions had at least one program recognized, 12 schools had multiple teams earn recognition, and all 21 sports sponsored by the Conference were represented by at least one A-10 program. Of the 31 Division I conferences, only the Atlantic 10, the Ivy League and the Patriot League had each member institution receive public recognition awards for multiple programs.
|Massachusetts' Zach Simmon's|
2008-09 Student-Athlete of the Year
The A-10 has had a host of other student-athletes and teams receive awards for their academic prowess in the past several years. Some of these accolades include the La Salle field hockey team posting the highest team grade-point average in the nation for field hockey in 2008-09; Massachusetts goalkeeper Zach Simmons becoming the 2008-09 men's soccer Student-Athlete of the Year; La Salle graduate Yves Mekongo winning the NACDA Division I-AAA Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in 2009-10; and the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team earning a spot among the academic Top 25 teams nationally in 2009-10, according to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), marking the fifth straight year and seventh time in the past eight seasons that the Bonnies appeared in the WBCA academic poll.
Providing outstanding athletic and academic opportunities is one of the missions of the Atlantic 10 Conference and its member institutions. The Conference's schools and student-athletes have had many academic successes throughout the A-10's 35 years. Those performances have shown that the Atlantic 10 and its member institutions have long been and continue to be are committed to leading the way in athletic and academic excellence.
Scroll through and click the icons below for the membership history of each institution.