Mines News

Release Date Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hardrocker Scholar-Athletes Continue to Excel Academically

RAPID CITY, S.D. (Jan. 12, 2017) – South Dakota School of Mines & Technology scholar-athletes collectively earned a 3.14 GPA last fall, higher than the entire student body.

It was the 17th consecutive semester in which scholar-athletes achieved a combined GPA of at least 3.0, higher than the entire student body during this stretch dating back to the fall of 2008.

“This academic performance really is exceptional. Our athletes have travel commitments, heavy training schedules and are all majoring in challenging degrees,” said SD Mines President Heather Wilson. “Our coaches and athletes are doing a great job, and we are all proud of them.”

The high academic achievements of Hardrocker athletes is in large part thanks to the women’s track and field team. The team earned a cumulative GPA of 3.49 last semester, the highest of any athletic program at South Dakota Mines.

“We are very proud of our women and how hard they train for their track and field events, but they have an even greater dedication to their academic programs,” said Jerry Schafer, Hardrocker track and field head coach. “While we want our athletes to succeed on the track and in the field we know the main reason for being here is to work at their studies. Their classroom dedication and success is what carries over to the athletic realm.”

Expectations of student-athletes increased as SD Mines transitioned from the NAIA to the NCAA Div. II, and through its affiliation with the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, yet Hardrocker athletes continue to succeed in the classroom.

“This tells me that our coaches are recruiting the right scholar-athletes here at South Dakota Mines,” said Hardrocker Athletic Director Joel Lueken. “We look forward to continuing our academic success.”

This is the second year of the Hardrocker athletics Academic Investment program requiring first-semester freshman, transfer students and scholar-athletes with a GPA below 3.0 to attend a weekly study hall with access to tutors.

“Our goals when developing the Academic Investment program in 2015 were to prepare scholar-athletes to manage their time efficiently, to maintain a high level of organization regarding their academic environment and to be prepared for their careers after graduation,” said South Dakota Mines Associate Athletic Director Tiffany McCampbell.


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,654 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $61,300. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Brad Blume , (605) 394-2355, Bradley.Blume@sdsmt.edu