Hardwick busy this golf season

The Hokies’ Jay Hardwick keeps himself busy year-round, serving as Virginia Tech’s Director of Golf Operations and the head men’s golf coach. But this year, Hardwick has added to his list of responsibilities.

Hardwick, in his 34th year leading the Tech men’s golf program, currently serves on committees within the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) tasked with selecting the Jack Nicklaus Award, the Ben Hogan Award, PING All-Americans and the Arnold Palmer Cup team.

Hardwick is in year two of a six-year term on the GCAA All-America committee and this year serves as the chairman of the committee that selects the Jack Nicklaus Award winner. Joining Hardwick on the Nicklaus committee are Zac Zedirck of Miami of Ohio, Fred Warren of ETSU, JT Higgins of Texas A&M and George Koury of Air Force.

“It is an honor to serve the GCAA in this capacity and, in some small way, give back to college golf for all that I have received from the game,” Hardwick said.

The Jack Nicklaus Award is the National Player of the Year Award, given annually by the GCAA. In addition to the Nicklaus Award, Hardwick’s All-America committee also names the Ben Hogan Award recipient, given annually to the collegiate player that combines the best academic and on-course excellence and the GCAA PING All-America team. The committee also selects the United States team for the Arnold Palmer Cup, an annual event that pits the top collegiate players from the USA against a team of European players who play collegiately in America in a Ryder Cup style event.

Joining Hardwick on the All-America committee are Zedirck, Jay Sewell of Alabama, Ryan Hybl of Oklahoma, Pete Stankevich of Hartford and Glen Millican of New Mexico, who serves as committee chairman.

Also, the Virginia Tech men’s golf and women’s tennis teams received Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA for top scores in the classroom, as announced by the NCAA on Wednesday.

Public Recognition Awards get handed out based on a sport’s multi-year Academic Progress Rate, better known as APR. The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams nationally.

The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in each sport. Teams must meet a certain academic threshold to qualify for the postseason, and they also can face penalties for continued low academic performance. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years.

To receive a Public Recognition Award, a team must have an APR in the top 10 percent of its sport. The Tech men’s golf team has received a Public Recognition Award in each of the past eight years, while the Hokies’ women’s tennis team earned the honor for the first time.

The actual APR for each Division I team will be released next Wednesday, May 10.

— Courtesy of VT Athletics