Louisiana Tech’s student-athletes wield a sharp pen and a sharp sword

Dec 16, 2011 | General News

Brains and brawn.  Most would say that’s a pretty good recipe for success.
For the past several years, Louisiana Tech’s student-athletes have used this formula to distinguish themselves in the State of Louisiana, the Western Athletic Conference, and the nation.  To say Louisiana Tech’s student-athletes are successful in the classroom might be an understatement.
Louisiana Tech recently recorded its highest student-athlete Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in school history with a four-year graduation success rate of 72 percent, second in the state among Division I football-playing public institutions and among the best in the nation.  The Bulldog football team was also recognized by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) for graduating more than 75 percent of its student-athletes.
“It is a true indication of the quality of our faculty and the commitment and priorities of our administration, coaches and staff,” said Louisiana Tech Athletics Director Bruce Van De Velde.  “We are very proud of our student-athletes.”
For the third consecutive year, Louisiana Tech saw improvements in the majority of its Academic Progress Rates (APR) in 2011 with eight of its 16 NCAA sanctioned programs recording their highest multi-year APR rates ever.  All 16 of Louisiana Tech’s programs are penalty free.  Women’s basketball, men’s golf, and women’s bowling all achieved perfect 1,000 APR scores.
The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each quarter by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete.  The APR includes eligibility, retention, and graduation in the calculation and provides a picture of the academic culture in each sport.  Each sport earns a single year rate and then a multi-year rate, which is a four-year average of the single year rates.
On an individual level, in 2008, Bulldog linebacker Quin Harris was named a National Scholar-Athlete and was awarded an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame.  Harris was Louisiana Tech’s first-ever recipient and was selected as one of only 15 student-athletes from a pool of 164 candidates nationwide.
More recently, Clint Ewing, a catcher on Louisiana Tech’s baseball team, graduated this past spring with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Following the 2010 season, he was named a third team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American and was the recipient of the Chi Epsilon (civil engineering honor society) National Scholarship for the Southwest District.
Ewing is a two-time member of the Academic All-WAC team and has received the Presidential Scholarship – the highest honor awarded to non-National Merit scholars — and the Department of Transportation and Development engineering scholarship.
The 2011 academic all-WAC baseball, softball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams, and the academic all-WAC freshmen/transfer teams included a total of 57 Louisiana Tech student-athletes.
The commitment and success of Louisiana Tech’s student-athletes is something the University takes a great deal of pride in.  It’s hard to argue success when there is so much achievement inside and outside of the classroom.
Louisiana Tech is currently preparing to face No. 15 TCU in the 2011 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 21 in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium.
The 2011 Poinsettia Bowl will be televised on ESPN and will be the only bowl game taking place on Dec. 21. Joe Tessitore (play-by-play) will call the action along with Lou Holtz (analyst), Mark May (analyst) and Samantha Steele (sidelines). In addition, ESPN Radio (97.7 FM in Ruston) will carry the game nationally with Bill Rosinksi (play-by-play) calling the action along with David Norrie (analyst) and Joe Schad (analyst). The LA Tech Sports Network (107.5 FM in Ruston), as always, will broadcast the Tech game with Dave Nitz (play-by-play), Teddy Allen (analyst) and Max Causey (sidelines) calling the action.
Tickets for the Poinsettia Bowl are on sale now through the LA Tech Ticket Office and range from $35 – $55. To purchase tickets, please call (318) 257-3631, email or visit
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football and the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl, follow @LATechPWalsh on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at