Boise State has made a solid commitment to providing summer school scholarships and Bronco fans have responded. Three years ago, Summer School Scholarships did not exist. Two years ago, $35,000 was raised by the "Buck Up For The Broncos" fund-raisers. Last year, the total exceeded $76,000. This year, $150,000 will be raised for Summer School Scholarships, and next year, plans are in place that should fully fund Summer Scholarships for all student-athletes in all sports at Boise State.
That's how far the program has come. A lot of cash has been generated--great. But what about the results?
This school year, Boise State finished fourth in women's cross country, tied for the WAC title in football, won the outdoor WAC title in men's track, reached the semifinals in women's basketball and finished 2nd in gymnastics. In addition, the wrestling squad, which competes in the PAC-10 Conference, finished 3rd behind Top 10 Arizona State and nationally ranked Cal Poly. In fact, the only Boise State sport that has finished worse than sixth in the WAC is women's volleyball.
Granted, Boise State has had a good year within the WAC, but what about national rankings? The football team was ranked in the Top 25 most of the year, the wrestler's finished the season #24 and the gymnastics team is ranked #28 going into the NCAA Regional Championships. In championships yet to be completed, the Boise State men's tennis team is #22 and is favored to win the WAC title, the track and field team was ranked #21 in the initial Top 25 of the season and favored to dominate the WAC and the women's tennis team is #64 and is one of the favorites for the league championship.
With all of that success, it should be no surprise that Boise State is now in 2nd place in the Western Athletic Conference Commissioner's Cup Standings. The Cup is awarded annually to the school that performs the best in each of the conference's 18 championships. Points are awarded based on the finish of each school in each sport that the conference sponsors. Nine points are awarded for first place, eight for second place, etc. The Broncos have accumulated 59 points to date, just two points behind Utah State. Nevada is in third with 54.25 points. Boise State has a legitimate shot at winning the Commissioner's Cup if the spring sports come through!
In 2002, when no summer scholarship money was provided, Boise State finished 8th in the WAC Commissioner's Cup. Boise State won the WAC in football and tennis, but finished last in volleyball, next to last in indoor women's track, last in men's golf and 8th in women's basketball. In 2003, after fans begin contributing towards Summer Scholarships, Boise State moved up to 7th in the Cup Standings, and was just 3.5 points away from fourth-place Fresno State. The Broncos again won the WAC in football, won the PAC-10 in wrestling and finished tied for third in basketball. Last year, Boise State moved up to 5th place in the Cup Standings, winning the league title in football and men's outdoor track and field and finishing second in basketball and tied for third in women's outdoor track and field.
It is no coincidence to look at the amount of money raised to fund summer scholarships and see an increase in the performance of the athletic department. Looking at the numbers side by side, it is obvious that Summer Scholarships have played a huge role in Boise State's rise in success. All sports are benefiting from the program. Summer Scholarships allow student-athletes to spread their course work over the entire year, taking classes in the summer when they can devote full attention to their studies without the daily practices, competition and constant traveling. Summer Scholarships also enable them to stay in Boise and be able to work out in the new expanded weight room and the Cavens-Williams Indoor Complex. When the school year starts, the student-athletes are fully prepared, mentally and physically. Their academic performance is enhanced as well, and that's really the most important statistic of all. Boise State's football team has led the nation in grade point average over the overall student average for two successive years, and the scholastic performance of Boise State student-athletes ranks very high.
Nowhere is the improvement in academic performance more noticeable than in football. In 2002, Boise State had 3 players recognized as Academic All-WAC performers. That number jumped to seven in 2003, then nine in 2004 and finally an incredible 17 last year. That is an amazing achievement and due in no small part to your Summer Scholarship dollars. In basketball, the Broncos went from no Academic All-WAC players to one player (Coby Karl) on the team in each of the last three years. In women's soccer, the number of Boise State Academic All-WAC players has gone from five to eight to nine to twelve. In both cross country and women's volleyball, the number of recognized players has gone from two in each sport in 2002 to four this year. The all-league Academic list at Boise State increased from one in 2002 to two last year in women's tennis. In women's basketball, the number has improved from three to four in that time. In men's tennis, the Broncos have increased their presence on the Academic All-WAC team from two members to four.
Overall in 2002, 18 Boise State student-athletes made the Academic All-WAC team. With the league yet to hand out awards for academic performance in the spring sports this year, that figure of 18 has increased to a phenomenal 44 All-WAC Academic performers and 5 more All-PAC-10 Academic honorees from Boise State University! We proudly list and salute these great Bronco young people!
The results have been monumental, and the full effects of Summer Scholarships have yet to be felt. Academically and athletically, if you have given money to the Summer Scholarships Program at Boise State, you have contributed mightily to the success of the Boise State Broncos. Hats off to you!
FOOTBALL--Dan Hawkins, Coach
Joshua Bean , So., 3.08, Communication
Jeffery Biedermann, Jr., 3.35, General Business Management
David Browning, Jr., 3.19, Communication
Jeffrey Cavender, Jr., 3.11, Communication
Brett Denton, Jr., 3.49, Exercise Science
Kyle Gingg, So., 3.33, Undeclared
Korey Hall, Jr., 3.10, Construction Management
Bradley Lau, Jr., 3.19, Communication
Michael Lose, Jr., 3.47, Communication
Tad Miller, Jr., 3.05, Criminal Justice Admin.
Vincent Perretta, So., 3.58, Undeclared
Nicholas Schlekeway, So., 3.79, General Business Management
Derek Schouman, Jr., 3.08, Criminal Justice Admin.
Austin Smith, Jr., 3.12, Psychology
Kyle Stringer, Jr., 3.36, Finance
Taylor Tharp, Jr., 3.39, Communication
Edward Volponi, Jr., 3.01, Exercise Science
MEN'S BASKETBALL--Greg Graham, Coach
MEN'S BASKETBALL--Greg Graham, Coach
SOCCER--Steve Lucas, Coach
Melanie Bohnet, So., 3.52, Undeclared
Nicole Coleman, Sr., 3.59, Graphic Design
Katelynn Keller, So., 3.63, Undeclared
Brennan Lau, Jr., 3.61, Health Promotion
Molly McDonald, Jr., 3.00, Accounting
Michaela Morrison, Jr., 3.24, Journalism
Kimberli Parker, Jr., 3.57, Biology
Sophie Parrish, So., 3.28, Undeclared
Maureen Shea, Sr., 3.88, Psychology
Chelsy Skaw, So., 3.51, Undeclared
Liane Tom, Jr., 3.74, Computer Science
Allison Tsuchida, So., 3.29, Undeclared
VOLLEYBALL--Scott Sandel, Coach
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL--Gordy Presnell, Coach
Heather Little, Sr., 3.67, Athletic Administration WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY--Mike Maynard, Coach
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY--Mike Maynard, Coach
WRESTLING--Greg Randall, CoachLex Case, Jr., 3.61, Spanish
Casey Phelps, Sr., 4.00, Degree in Education and Secondary Education, now working on Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction
Jordan Brock, Sr., 3.11, Business Management
Andy Patrick, Fr., 3.09, Business Management
and Tyler Sherfey, Fr., 3.00, Business Management.