Penn State coaches earn stellar Academic Progress Rate scores

August 09, 2010

University Park, Pa. — The consistently high Academic Progress Rate scores annually earned by Penn State student-athletes are reflected in today's initial compilation of APR scores for head coaches in six sports.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association's release of APR data starting with the 2003-04 academic year shows that the five Penn State head coaches consistently produce teams who beat the average Division I APR score for their respective sport. The NCAA announced yearly APR scores for all Division I head coaches in baseball (Robbie Wine), men's basketball (Ed DeChellis), women's basketball (Coquese Washington), football (Joe Paterno), and women's indoor and outdoor track and field (Beth Alford-Sullivan).

The five Nittany Lion coaches had teams who earned an APR score above the Division I APR score for their respective sport a combined 28 of a possible 32 times since the NCAA began compiling APR data in 2003-04. DeChellis (6 of 6), Paterno (6 of 6), Washington (3 of 3) and Wine (5 of 5) saw their teams beat the Division I average every year. The women's indoor and outdoor track and field teams have surpassed the national average in each of the past three APR compilations.

The Penn State football, Nittany Lion basketball and Lady Lion basketball teams all beat the Division I APR average for their sports by at least 15 points, led by DeChellis' team with a 971.5 average, 41.2 points higher than the national average. Washington's program has a 978.3 average, 15.6 points above the Division I average.

Paterno's squad earned a 968.7 APR average, 34.9 points above the Division I average. The Nittany Lion football team has the Big Ten's second-highest average APR since 2003-04, trailing only Northwestern. (See below for Penn State and national averages for the six sports).

With today's announcement, the NCAA has launched a database at that can be accessed by the public to view the APR history of all current Division I head coaches, for all schools where they have been the head coach. The NCAA will announce APR data for current head coaches in other sports in 2011.

Created by the Committee on Academic Performance at the behest of the Division I Board of Directors, the database is designed to create more transparency in the Academic Performance Program and strengthen the accountability of coaches for the academic performance of their student-athletes.

NCAA data shows that Penn State student-athletes annually make better progress toward graduation in comparison with the nation's Division I institutions, despite higher academic standards than required. During the 2008-09 academic year, 12 Penn State squads earned perfect APR scores of 1,000: Nittany Lion basketball, men's cross country, men's fencing, field hockey, women's golf, women's gymnastics, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis and men's volleyball.

This past May, the Nittany Lion basketball, field hockey, softball and women's tennis teams earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards for having APR scores in the top 10 percent nationally for their respective sport during the 2008-09 academic year. The Nittany Lion basketball program earned perfect APR scores of 1000 in 2006-07 and 2008-09 and the women's outdoor track and field team posted a perfect APR score of 1000 in 2007-08.

Penn State's student-athletes, who have captured 24 Big Ten Championships during the past five years and eight NCAA titles in the past three years, consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees. Among some of their recent academic accomplishments are:

- Ten Nittany Lion student-athletes were selected ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans® in 2009-10, giving Penn State a school record two-year total of 21 honorees. Megan Hodge, the women's volleyball 2009 National Player of the Year, was selected Academic All-American® of the Year for her sport;

- Penn State student-athletes earned a school record Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent for the second consecutive year, compared to a 79 percent average for all Division I-A institutions, according to NCAA data released in November, 2009. The 89 percent figure was second highest among Big Ten Conference institutions;

- According to the 2009 NCAA data, Penn State's four-year federal graduation rate average was 82 percent, again well above the national average of 63 percent, and second to Northwestern (88) among Big Ten schools.

2009-10 NCAA Head Coaches Academic Progress Rates Report Comparison:
(Penn State APR average / Division I APR sport average)

Baseball - Robbie Wine
Penn State 954 Division I: 944.6

Men's Basketball - Ed DeChellis)
Penn State 971.5 Division I: 930.3

Women's Basketball - Coquese Washington
Penn State 978.3 Division I: 962.7

Football - Joe Paterno
Penn State 968.7 Division I: 933.8

Women's Indoor Track and Field - Beth Alford-Sullivan
Penn State 974.5 Division I: 964.3

Women's Outdoor Track and Field - Beth Alford-Sullivan
Penn State 976.2 Division I: 965.7

  • Nittany Lion men's basketball coach Ed DeChellis

    IMAGE: Penn State Sports Information

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010