STANDISH, Maine – For the third consecutive year, the Saint Joseph's College baseball program has received high academic honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). The Monks are among the 82 NCAA DIII teams to have earned a Team Academic Excellence Award, an honor bestowed upon college and high school programs with a 3.0 GPA or above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale during the 2018-19 academic year.
Saint Joseph's, one of just four New England programs to have earned the national academic honor in each of the last three seasons, is one of three Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) teams to earn the award and the only institution from Maine to be honored in 2019.
Led by 22 GNAC Academic All-Conference honorees, Saint Joseph's registered a 3.165 team GPA during the 2018-19 academic year. No GNAC program featured more academic honorees last year.
Senior outfielder Jared Gagne (Dover, N.H.) again led the way for the Monks both on the field and in the classroom this spring and was named as a 2019 Google Cloud Second Team Academic All-American® for his efforts. Gagne, a First Team All-Conference selection and D3baseball.com, ABCA/Rawlings, and NEIBA All-New England honoree for the second-consecutive season, joins former teammate Taylor Black '17 as the only two SJC baseball players to have claimed Academic All-America® accolades.
Under the watch of 27th-year Head Coach Will Sanborn '86 this season, Saint Joseph's posted a 33-12 overall record – including a 13-3 mark in GNAC play – en route to earning the #2 seed in the conference tournament. The Monks advanced to the GNAC Championship game with wins over Johnson & Wales and Suffolk and – after the Wildcats forced an if-necessary contest – received a walk-off RBI double off the bat of senior catcher Greg Emanuelson (Hudson, N.H.) in the bottom of the 11th to claim their first conference title since 2014.
With the GNAC Championship in tow, Saint Joseph's earned an automatic berth into the NCAA DIII Tournament for the ninth time since 2006. The Monks opened with a loss to Wheaton College, stayed alive with a lopsided victory over Baruch College, and saw their season come to a close with a 7-3 loss at the hands of the Lyons.
Saint Joseph's is one of just eight New England Region programs to earn the high academic honor, as Endicott College, Johnson & Wales University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Middlebury College, Salve Regina University, Suffolk University, and UMass.-Boston join the Monks on the short list. Only Saint Joseph's, Endicott, Salve Regina, and Suffolk have garnered ABCA Academic Team Excellence honors following each of the last three seasons.
This year, 310 college and high school programs received this year's award, including NCAA Div. III national champion Chapman University (Calif.) and NJCAA Div. II champs Northern Oklahoma College-Enid. In total, 99 high school teams along with 211 programs from the NCAA Div. I, II, III, NAIA, and junior college levels were recognized.
"We are proud to once again honor the academic achievements of so many of our member programs," said ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz. "The off-the-field success of this year's award winners is a testament to the hard work of the student-athletes and the commitment of coaches and academic personnel to developing well-rounded individuals."
Coaches were able to nominate their teams for the ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award following the conclusion of their spring semesters prior to the nomination deadline of July 19th. To be honored, teams had to meet the following criteria:
- Must be a high school or college team.
- Head coach must be a current ABCA member.
- Team must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale during the 2017-18 academic year. GPA may not be rounded up.
CLICK HERE to view the entire team list
The American Baseball Coaches Association has a long tradition of recognizing the achievements of baseball coaches and student-athletes. The ABCA/Rawlings All-America Teams are the nation's oldest, founded in 1949, and the ABCA's awards program also includes the ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Awards, the ABCA/Diamond Regional & National Coaches of the Year and several other major awards such as the ABCA Hall of Fame and the Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award.