Broncos Athletics

Fall Sports Enjoy Early Success at Santa Clara

Sept. 9, 2003

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Although the actual season of Fall is not officially upon us, the Fall Seasons at Santa Clara University are in full swing, and the success stories are already starting to pile up.

For the first time in school history, Santa Clara has three teams concurrently ranked in the top-15 of their respective polls. The women's soccer team is currently ranked No. 2 in the NSCAA Coaches' Poll with its 2-0-2 record while the men hold the No. 6 spot in the same poll with a 3-0-1 mark. The women's volleyball team is 5-1 on the season and are currently ranked No. 13 in the AVCA Coaches' Poll.

"Having three teams ranked in the top-15 nationally is a wonderful start to the fall season," said Cheryl L. Levick, Director of Athletics and Recreation at SCU. "Our coaches and student-athletes deserve a great deal of credit for this accomplishment. I couldn't be any prouder of our student-athletes and coaches for consistently performing at the highest level of collegiate athletics."

Santa Clara is one of only two Division I institutions, the other being UCLA, that has teams ranked in the top-15 of these three polls. Additionally, the Broncos boast some of the best student-athletes in the country as evidenced by the graduation rates released by the NCAA last week.

On September 3 the NCAA released its graduation rates for all Division I institutions. The report showed that Santa Clara student-athletes graduated at a four-year average rate of 78 percent while the overall student body at the institution graduated at a slightly higher rate of 81 percent. The report examines a four-year rolling average ending with freshman entering school in 1996-97.

SCU's student-athlete graduation rate is considerably higher than the NCAA Division I average of 60 percent for student-athletes and the 70 percent average for Division I private institutions. The institution's graduation rate is the fifth highest among all U.S. master's universities, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The current report's 78 percent graduation rate for SCU student-athletes roughly equals the average for student-athletes at the institution since the NCAA began tracking the data in 1990. The highest student-athlete graduation rate for SCU, based on the four-year average, was an 82 percent rating for the class entering in 1988-89, which was released in the NCAA's 1995 report.

Santa Clara County possesses the two institutions with the highest graduation rate in the state of California in SCU and Stanford. Student-athletes at Stanford graduate at a rate of 87 percent, compared to the institution's four-class average for the overall student population of 92 percent. The University of San Diego moved into a tie with UC Santa Barbara for third in the state rankings, graduating student-athletes at a 73 percent rate.

Among West Coast Conference institutions, Santa Clara rated at the top of the list, five percentage points ahead of second-place San Diego and Gonzaga University. Among the overall student population, SCU's league-leading 81 percent is 10 percentage points better than Pepperdine University's second-best 71 percent.

About Santa Clara Athletics
Santa Clara University Department of Athletics and Recreation sponsors 17 intercollegiate athletics teams and competes as a Division I member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the West Coast Conference (WCC), the Pacific Coast Softball Conference and the Western Water Polo Association. The department enjoyed a successful 2002-2003 season. For the second-straight year, the Broncos advanced to the NCAA title game in women's soccer and finished second in the WCC's annual all-sports competition. The Broncos also had six all-Americans, eight national academic award winners, 50 all-conference performers and 19 academic all-conference award winners.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,060 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the third-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at