We here at The Daily Gopher like to try and highlight the positives from the Minnesota Golden Gophers athletic programs from all aspects of the student athlete life. While athletic achievements are great, sometimes the academic achievements these student athletes produce are even more impressive. This is one of those times. The Minnesota Golden Gophers had eight College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All Americans during the 2018-19 school year. That was the third highest total in the nation and helped the Gophers lead the Big Ten for the fourth consecutive year!
It’s not just a one year thing either. Over the last five years, the Gophers also rank third in Division I with 44 CoSIDA Academic All-American. The only two schools to have more are Stanford and Alabama. The last four years have seen the four highest totals of national honors in Minnesota history- a school record 11 selections in 2015-16 nine in 2016-17, 10 in 2017-18 and eight in 2018-19.
To be eligible to be a CoSIDA Academic All-American, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average at their institution. Nominees are selected by CoSIDA members based on their academic and athletic achievements.
Minnesota’s 2018-19 winners came from six different sports. The football team was the most represented as they had three members honored in senior long snapper Payton Jordahl, senior defensive lineman Gary Moore, and junior defensive lineman Sam Renner. Jordahl and Moore were both First Team All-American honorees. Joining Renner on the Second Team were senior women’s soccer star April Bockin, Gopher women’s hockey senior Nicole Schammel, and senior Gopher women’s swimmer Chantal Nack. On the Third Team were senior men’s gymnastics member Justin Karstadt, and senior Gopher women’s track and field athlete Kiley Sabin. Both Karstadt and Sabin have been honored in previous years as well.
The Golden Gophers academics as a whole are thriving. The University of Minnesota finished the 2018-19 academic year with department records for total semester grade point average (3.29), cumulative grade point average (3.27) and graduation rate (93 percent). Minnesota student athletes are putting the student part first, and it shows.
Congrats to the Gophers as a whole for doing things the right way!