Winning Scores and Winning Grades
Golden Flash athletes and coaches have taken the call for excellence to heart, scoring high academic marks while compiling a long list of winning games, championships and awards. The student-athlete graduation rate is consistently higher than the rate for the student body as a whole and, year in and year out, more than half of all teams maintain cumulative grade-point averages of 3.0 and above, with many student-athletes earning perfect 4.0 GPAs.
The highlight reel of the last five years includes a prestigious first: Kent State won the Reese Cup for the top Mid-American Conference (MAC) men's athletic program and the Jacoby Cup for the top MAC women's athletic program in the same year (2009-10). The university placed second in the 2009 Excellence in Management Cup, a national competition recognizing athletic departments that win the most conference and national games while keeping expenditures low. And last year, Kent State was honored as the recipient of the MAC's Cartwright Award for excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship.
With the retirement of longtime Athletic Director Laing Kennedy, a national search for his successor brought Joel Nielsen to Kent State to kick off a new era in Golden Flash athletics. His enthusiasm helped the university meet and exceed its goal of selling 90,000 football tickets to fans from across the university and the region.