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Saint Leo University Athletics is enjoying another reason to celebrate the accomplishments of its athletes during the 2019-2020 year. A record number of student-athletes were honored for the high grades they earned while competing on the playing fields, courts, track, golf course, and running trails, and in the gymnasium and pool.

There were 139 Lions named as recipients of the Division 2 Athletics Directors Association (D2 ADA) Academic Achievement Award. To receive the honor, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale, have attended a minimum of two years (four semesters) of college-level work, and have been an active member of an intercollegiate team during his or her last academic year.

Baseball led the way for the Lions with 14 honorees, followed closely by softball with 11 recipients. Twenty sports were represented in all.

Having so many student-athletes overall named recipients of the award is, in itself, a distinction: Saint Leo’s 139 award recipients surpassed the previous university record of 101 honorees. That record was set during the 2017-2018 academic year. 

Among schools in the Sunshine State Conference, Saint Leo ranked second behind Florida Southern College’s 167 honorees. Saint Leo ranked 14 overall among Division II programs.

A complete list of Lions honored is available for viewing, with the athletes’ names organized by their sport. The award recipients represent more than30 percent of the 455 student-athletes who competed during the year. 

Celebrating Four Championship Appearances

This spring, the Saint Leo University men’s lacrosse, men’s golf, women’s track, and softball teams all competed for NCAA Division II National Championships—two of which were first-time appearances for the programs.


Making Sunshine State Conference History

This past spring, former Saint Leo University President Dr. Arthur F. Kirk Jr. was one of nine members inducted into the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame. Kirk, who served as the university’s president from 1997-2015, became the 16th Saint Leo Sunshine State Conference Hall of Famer. A two-time president of the Sunshine State Conference, Kirk raised Saint Leo’s national profile by placing 18th in the Learfield Director’s Cup in 2014, increasing to eighth in 2015, and second in 2016. Under his leadership, the Athletics Department doubled in size and captured its first Mayor’s Cup, while adding a tennis facility, softball stadium, parking garage with a lacrosse field installed on top, a soccer-only facility, and lights at each of the new venues.
 


Fran Reidy Named Athletic Director of the Year

For the third time in six years, Saint Leo Vice President and Director of Athletics Francis X. Reidy was named the Division II Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year. Reidy was one of 28 athletics directors to earn the award this year from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). The ADOY Award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses, and their surrounding communities.


Saint Leo Athletics Places Fourth in Learfield Directors’ Cup

Saint Leo University Athletics placed fourth in the 2017–2018 Learfield Directors’ Cup Division II, a program that honors institutions for achieving success in sports. This marks the third time in four years that the Lions placed in the Directors’ Cup top 10.
Saint Leo also placed as the top Sunshine State Conference institution. For two of the last three years, the Lions have claimed a top-five finish. A total of eight Sunshine State Conference institutions were ranked among the top 100 in the latest Directors’ Cup standings report.

“We have an incredible staff and student-athletes who strive for excellence,” said Francis X. Reidy, vice president and director of athletics. “Our five-year run of great finishes is a remarkable feat when you consider where Saint Leo was just a short time ago. We are proud of our two top-five finishes over the last three years as we strive to be one of the best all-around programs in Division II.”


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After climbing seven spots at the NCAA Division II South/Southeast Super Regional, men’s golf earned a spot to advance to Muscle Shoals, AL, for the 2018 national championships. In the end, the Lions fell 3-2 to Sunshine State Conference foe and No. 3 seed Barry University. Men’s golf player Alberto Castagnara (sophomore)