Student-athletes on UCF's football, softball and men's basketball teams are excelling in academics and sports.

On Tuesday, the three programs were honored as the American Athletic Conference announced the Team Academic Excellence Awards for the 2014-15 school year. In each sport, the team with the highest GPA for an academic year is honored with the award.

"I'm very proud of our student-athletes for their hard work and success in the classroom," interim Director of Athletics George O'Leary said in a press release. "We have a culture of academic success at UCF."

For the UCF football program, this is the fourth consecutive season it has been named the top academic team in its conference. In addition to earning the award in each of the two years of the AAC's existence, the team took back-to-back Conference USA Sport Academic Awards at the end of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

As for the softball program, the 2014-15 campaign marked the first time the Knights reached 50 wins in a single season. Head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie led the team to the NCAA Regional Final after being crowned the regular season and tournament champions of the AAC.

According to the release, men's basketball head coach Donnie Jones led a team that posted a school-record for the Academic Progress Rate score in the most recent NCAA release.

Among all public institutions, UCF ranks No. 1 in the nation in NCAA Graduation Success Rate. UCF's men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's golf, football, volleyball and rowing are all ranked best among AAC schools in GSR at their respective sport.


Bridgette Norris is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @blogginbridge or email her at