UKAthletics.com had a nice write up yesterday on how the athletic department is quickly approaching Mitch Barnhart’s major goals set out for the program a few years ago. Barnhart’s benchmark goal was for Kentucky to win 15 conference championships or national championships by 2015. In fact, if you walk into the offices of the athletic department around UK’s campus, all of the coaches have “15x15x15″ (15 conference/national championships, Top 15 athletic program in the country by 2015) on the frame of their office doors. The goal is clearly set for the teams and the label on the doors serves as a constant reminder of the shared dream. Four teams added to that total this season by winning conference championships. The probability of UK reaching that 15 championship goal is highly likely with the current success and potential success of the teams across the board in the next couple of years. The men’s basketball team is bringing in another top-ranked recruiting class. The women’s basketball team is coming off of an Elite 8 run. The men’s baseball team was within 1 win over Mississippi State of capturing the title. The women’s softball, soccer and volleyball programs have all been on a consistent upswing, competing for their respective championships. The men’s tennis team wrapped up a regular season SEC title this year. The future looks bright for Barnhart’s first goal.
Perhaps even more impressive is how close the UK Athletic Department is getting to Mitch Barnhart’s second goal, which takes place off the field/court. Barnhart has lofty goals for his student athletes in the classroom as well. Barnhart set a goal for the entire athletic department to have a 3.0 GPA or higher. For the second consecutive semester, the student-athletes fell just short of the goal, though the numbers are impressive. The combined GPA for the spring semester, as many have probably already heard, was 2.97 .
“I am very proud of the effort our student-athletes logged in the classroom this semester,” Barnhart said. “We fell just shy of our GPA goal and will work tirelessly to reach it, but I am happy with the academic culture we have fostered at UK. I appreciate everything our student-athletes, coaches and support staff have done to make that happen.”
A big congratulations to the student athletes across the UK athletic program for making us proud by working hard on and off the court.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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