“We play to win the game”: GVSU captures 26th President’s Cup in school history

Kellen Voss

For the 21st consecutive year, Grand Valley State has captured the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) President’s Cup trophy, the all-sports award handed out to at the end of the year to the conference member that shows general success in all sports. This award for the 2018-19 season marks the 26th time winning the award for the Lakers.

In addition to winning every Presidents’ Trophy from 1998-99 to 2018-19, GVSU also hoisted the all-sports trophy in 1978-79, 1977-78, 1974-75, 1973-74 and 1972-73.

While the trophy case for these awards has become rather full at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena, the entire GVSU athletic program is still proud of their continued success

“We never look past the President’s Cup, we never take it for granted,” said GVSU athletic director Keri Becker. “I never get sick of celebrating any of the victories that we have, and certainly the president’s cup is a culmination of all those things. It signifies success on the court; we play to win the game. We have the right people in the right places, doing the right thing”

Grand Valley State finished with 166.0 points, several points ahead of second place Ashland (132.0), third place Saginaw Valley State (108.5) and fourth place Wayne State (100.0).

The Lakers claimed 14 GLIAC titles during the 2018-19 campaign, with the women scoring 100.0 points and the men 66.0. The standings are based on final regular season standings except for the following sports, which are based on conference tournament finish: cross country, golf, indoor and outdoor track & field, and swimming and diving.

GVSU won women’s GLIAC Championships in cross country, soccer, tennis, indoor track & field, swimming & diving, golf, basketball and outdoor track & field, while the men were able to capture GLIAC titles in cross country, swimming & diving, indoor and outdoor track & field and basketball, with the latter being one of the titles that Becker is most proud of the school for earning.

“Men’s basketball comes to mind, it was a long time coming for them,” Becker said.  “What they had to do to overcome and get there was special, in terms of that team coming together at the right time”

In order to keep the dynasty that is GVSU athletics thriving, Becker and GVSU make sure to provide athletes with the best chance to succeed. They attempt to make their impact felt in three ways: emphasizing academic success, creating a championship mindset and creating a positive culture with the college community

“We want to achieve student athlete success,” Becker said. “We do that athletically, academically and socially. The second way is creating championship excellence in all that we do, being collaborative and innovative, personally and professionally growing, using best practices, keeping that tradition and doing everything with integrity.”

“None of our accomplishments are done alone, so we have to engage our campus community, secure resources, take ownership — which in turn helps us create our own revenue — develop our fans, manage our brand and certainly building relationships is the key to maintaining that success,” she said. “We’ll figure out the ‘what’ along the way in each area in terms of defining success and what those small victories are, the Grand Valley athletic impact plan gives us the ‘how,’ to achieve our overall purpose of creating the best student athlete experience possible and developing champions for life.”

GVSU competes for a chance to win national championships in softball and men’s and women’s outdoor track & field this week.