Dear USC Upstate Spartan Fans,
Welcome to the Winter edition of Spartan Spotlight, my quarterly report to our fan base. As you will see from this edition, Spartan Athletics has been busy since my last Report! Of particular importance, this edition was filmed in our weight room in front of our brand new nutrition fueling station! Before and after pictures are included in the video to help you visualize the transformation; I hope you will enjoy it!
To watch our Spartan Spotlight, please click the image below:
A summary of the Winter edition of the Spartan Spotlight includes:
- Fall 2018 was our highest department-wide student-athlete GPA in our history, with a cumulative 3.23!
- 71% of our student-athletes made the honor roll with a 3.0 GPA or better
- 10% of our student-athletes made a perfect 4.0 GPA
- At the end of the fall semester, USC Upstate was ranked 5th out of 11 member institutions in the Big South's Conference Cup (known as the Sasser Cup), which measures athletic success across all sports;
- Our Women's Soccer team had their best year in their Division 1 history, winning 11 games and advancing to the conference semifinals;
- Softball Coach Chris Hawkins had his record 900th win, making him the winningest head coach of any sport in USC Upstate history, and the winningest coach in Big South Softball history!
- We hired a new Head Women's Volleyball Coach, Ronda Shirley, who averages 30 wins per season during her head coaching career. Coach Shirley has already been inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame;
- The Women's Indoor Track team competed well at the Big South Championship, including winning the Female Field Athlete of the Meet award (sophomore Adanma Uzor) and Freshman of the Year award (Angelnique Bryant);
- The Women's Golf team won two tournaments in the fall, and they've shot a school record low round of 289 twice this year;
- Our Baseball team has two wins over Power 5 opponents for our first time in 7 years, and we are only 2 weeks into the season!
- We finished a new fueling station in the weight room, which provides essential nutritional supplements and post workout recovery food and drinks to all student-athletes;
- The University hired a new Director of Institutional Wellness, Kyle Brunen, who is serving in a similar role within the athletic department. Kyle is teaming up with Sandy Sandago (Director of Sports Medicine), Sarah Gildersleeve (Life Skills Director) and Jake Roy (Director of Strength & Conditioning) to ensure we provide top notch programming to all of our student-athletes in the area of health and wellness, so that our student-athletes are prepared for the challenges they will face off the court and outside of the classroom during their college years, as well as the rigors of life when they graduate;
- We are offering season tickets for Baseball and Softball for the first time in several years! You can purchase them here;
- We are finishing an Athletics Strategic Plan, which will help guide our actions for the next several years as we seek to win championships on the field, build champions in the classroom, and produce champions for life!
If you cannot tell, we have been extremely busy over the past few months! The University is flourishing and things are really going well on campus. If you have not been to USC Upstate in a while, please come out and see all of the great things that are happening at the University and within athletics---it would be my pleasure to personally welcome you to an athletic event. If I can help you in the meantime, or if you have any question about Spartan Athletics, please do not hesitate to contact me.