The Grenadiers were the highest scoring member institution from the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athlete Conference with 82 points. The KIAC was one of 23 conferences that were honored as Five Star conferences.
“In today’s complex college athletic environments – where success is sometimes only measured by wins and losses – strengthening effective athletic departments and leadership is key to advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics,” said Kristin Gillette, NAIA Director of Champions of Character. “The Scorecard supports and recognizes member institutions and conferences using sport as a vehicle to teach life lessons. No doubt this is a point of differentiation in college athletics and making a huge impact on our 60,000 student-athletes.”
Institutions were measured based on a demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character and earned points in each of the following categories: character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Institutions earned points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by obtaining zero ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year.
Over 80% of member institutions and all member conferences were named to the Five Star list. Colleges and universities landing in the top five spots include Cornerstone (Mich.) with 103 points, Montana Tech of the University of Montana with 97 points, Shawnee State (Ohio) with 94 points, Biola (Calif.) and Xavier (La.) each with 91 points and Oklahoma City and Saint Thomas Houston (Texas) rounding out the top five with 89 points apiece. The Appalachian, Frontier, Gulf Coast and TranSouth Conferences landed in the top spot with 100% of its member schools making the grade.
Five Star Award recipients will be recognized on the NAIA Champions of Character website, and receive a special web banner and certificate noting the honor. Presidents, athletics directors and conference commissioners at award winning colleges, universities or conferences also will be recognized at the 71st Annual NAIA National Convention in April.