University Park, IL,
11:10 AM

Jaguars Garner Top Academic Honor

Nicole Brusich golfing on the green for GSUNicole Brusich is a true Jaguar. One of seven women who competed last year on Governors State University's women's golf team, she balanced work, athletics, and academics and came out on top, along with teammates Emily Bell, Anne Best, Toi Bowers, Megan Kirn, Ava Marciniak, and Hollie Campbell. In recognition of their outstanding academic performance, the Jaguars golf team has been recognized as an Academic National Champion by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).

The Jaguars compiled a team GPA of 3.73 (on a 4.00 scale) this past season, with four of the student-athletes—Brusich, Best, Campbell, and Marciniak—earning straight A's during the academic year. Brusich, who worked as well as competed, said she took evening classes when she could to make room for sports. She graduated in May with a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration, and it was only after graduation that she found out she and her teammates had won a national honor.

"Coach Haines really put an emphasis on our academics," Brusich said. "He stressed the importance of doing well as students as well as on the course."

"I'm excited and proud of our student-athletes who have worked just as hard in the classroom as on the course to get better," said GSU Head Coach Mark Haines. "We have several golfers who are new to the sport and they have put the time in to become competitive collegiate athletes while maintaining high grades."

Daniel Jankowski, sports information director and athletic compliance coordinator for GSU, said that Governors State recognizes the challenge of being a successful college athlete while maintaining satisfactory grades.

"When you're a student-athlete, it's basically a full-time job, and it's our jobs to guide them and teach them to balance everything," Jankowski said. "You're a student first, athlete second. We try to be proactive by providing study halls and midterm grades to help our student-athletes succeed."

Golf season at GSU takes place during April, September, and October. On behalf of the university, we congratulate our Jaguars on earning this honor for themselves and Governors State University.