It was another outstanding semester for University of Montana student-athletes. For the 2015 spring semester, UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam said a new all-time high record has been set in terms of scholarship by these student-athletes.

"It's the 20th straight semester where cumulatively they have a 3.0 or higher. Actually, this semester we've set the all-time high for a cumulative GPA just north of 3.1," Haslam said. "They just continue to do amazing things academically, athletically and in the community. It's all sports it's just for spring semester, so it's all 15 teams."

Haslam said student-athletes continue to outpace the rest of the UM student body in terms of not just GPAs, but graduation rates and retention rates, and even credits completed.

Here's how the top sports lined up in terms of GPA:

  • Montana's 3.14 was its best semester on record, as is its 3.16 cumulative GPA, which factors in each student-athlete's entire academic body of work at UM.
  • For the fourth straight semester, the women's cross country team, which had a 3.8 GPA in the spring, led the department. The men's cross country team checked in at 3.4. 22 of the two teams' 23 athletes had term GPAs of 3.0 or better.
  • The Griz soccer team had a 3.45 for the spring semester, the women's tennis team had a 3.44. Both teams have had three straight semesters at 3.4 or higher.
  • Women's track and field, which gets the benefit of using the cross country runners and their GPAs when they become distance runners for the indoor and outdoor track seasons, had a 3.33 in the spring, the team's 19th straight semester at 3.2 or above.
  • Men's tennis came in at 3.32, women's golf at 3.25, volleyball at 3.15 and men's track and field at 3.07. The new softball team, despite being on the road for eight long road trips in the spring, finished at 3.18, an improvement from its 3.04 in the fall.
  • Women's basketball finished the spring at 2.97, which snapped an 11-semester streak at 3.0 or higher, men's basketball came in at 2.95, and the football team, in its first semester under Bob Stitt, matched its record with a 2.92.

Haslam said the athletic center, which is still under construction, can only add to the success made by these athletes.

"We've set the bar pretty high. They're doing amazing things. The academic center, I think what it does will provide a space for them that I think will only help enhance their academic experience," Haslam said. "Those NCAA requirements are so strict now when it comes to staying on track towards a degree so that academic center will be a great plus as a support facility for our student athletes and it will be open in August."

18 of Montana's 308 student-athletes, who on average took a load of 14.4 credits, had a spring semester GPA of 4.0, 75 made the Dean's List, and 208 had a term GPA of 3.0 or better. The UM student body as a whole had a 2.92 term GPA while taking 12.3 credits.

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