GVSU wins Presidents’ Trophy and Directors’ Cup for 2015-16 year

GVL / Luke Holmes - Tim Selgo speaks from the podium. The Tim W. Selgo showcase was held in the Fieldhouse Arena Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2016.

GVL / Luke Holmes – Tim Selgo speaks from the podium. The Tim W. Selgo showcase was held in the Fieldhouse Arena Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2016.

Josh Peick

For the better part of two decades, the Grand Valley State athletic program has been one of the top programs in the country. That did not change this past academic year.

GVSU was presented with the GLIAC Presidents’ Trophy for the 18th consecutive year. The trophy is awarded to the top athletic program in the conference. GVSU scored a total of 244 points over the academic year, 53.5 points more than the second place school.

The point system is based on standings and conference championships in different sports. The Laker men won five GLIAC championships while the women took home seven championships.

Along with the Presidents’ Trophy, GVSU won the Directors’ Cup for having the top Division II athletic program in the nation. This is the third year in a row that GVSU has taken home the cup. The Lakers won eight cups from 2003-11, and after a two year hiatus in second place, GVSU started the streak again in 2013-14.

GVSU’s athletic program success is more than just winning on the field.

“We evaluate all of our programs far beyond just how we do in the Directors’ and Presidents’ Cup standings,” athletic director Tim Selgo said. “This past year 64 percent of our student athletes had a 3 point grade point average or better. We’re just as proud of that as we are with the competitive success.”

However success is defined, this recent win solidifies the fact that GVSU is a dynasty across the board in Division II athletics. The success did not just happen by chance. It all started in 1996 when Selgo was hired as athletic director.

The first order of business for Selgo was to increase the amount of scholarship money for athletics.

“We needed more athletic scholarship money for our programs,” Selgo said. “Of our nineteen programs then, only four were at the maximum.”

Now, all of the women’s athletic programs and most of the men’s programs are at the maximum amount that the NCAA allows for scholarship money. But the athletic program’s success is attributed to more than just the scholarship money.

“It’s not about resources. It’s not about facilities. It’s about people,” GVSU’s associate athletic director Keri Becker said. “It’s our ability to recruit quality, talented coaches and retain them, and their ability to recruit quality student athletes.”

A school can have money to fund athletics, but that does not always translate into wins. In order to have a thriving program, the right people need to be in place to help teams reach their full potential.

“I think we have the best coaching staff in Division II in the country. They are good leaders, and they care about their kids,” Selgo said.

The athletic program has had a prolonged period of success, but on July 11, the program entered into a new era. Selgo is going into retirement, and Becker will be taking his place.

As someone who has worked under Selgo, Becker understands how the program operates and will be able to pick up the job without the program losing momentum.

“I believe that we are here to support our student athletes to create the best student-athlete experience,” Becker said.

Although the school will experience a change at the top position in athletics, the program is still set up for success with Becker at the helm. The Lakers will continue to be contenders for the top athletic program in the conference, and in the nation.