BIG EAST Championships in every sport within the next five years, continued leadership by UC student-athletes in academics, and community engagement are the main goals of CATAPULT, an action plan for University of Cincinnati athletics unveiled by athletics director Mike Thomas.
Thomas' five-year vision for UC's 18-sport intercollegiate program was launched on the six-month anniversary of his hiring as AD. The plan focuses on three main initiatives: winning BIG EAST team championships, high-level academic achievement, and a comprehensive integration with the Greater Cincinnati Community.
"It is critically important for our student-athletes, past, present and future, along with our coaches, staff, alumni and fans to know that we are 100 percent committed to being a championship program within the BIG EAST," said Thomas. "Setting specific goals will keep all of our stakeholders focused on where we need to go. The title of the program, CATAPULT, is truly symbolic of what our department is poised to do over the next five-years, which is to leap over the rest of the BIG EAST, all the way to the top."
|UC will win a BIG EAST championship in every sport within the next five years. The Bearcats picked up their fi rst BIG EAST championship in 2006 as the men's soccer team captured the regular-season title. in 2008, the football team won the BIG EAST Championship and the volleyball squad earned a share of the regular season league title.
||UC student-athletes will set the pace academically by continuing to lead the general student body in graduation rates and over a fi ve-year period outperform the general student body in grade point average. UC student-athletes are graduating at a 61 percent rate, which exceeds the 50 percent rate of school's general student body and is on par with the national student-athlete rate of 63 percent. In the most recent compilation of the grade-point averages, UC student-athletes posted an accumulated grade point average of 3.03 while the overall GPA of the UC student body was 2.969.
||UC student-athletes, coaches, and staff will respect and honor the privilege of competing as Cincinnati Bearcats. All participants recognize that UC's goals cannot be achieved without engaging the UC family and the Cincinnati community.
The University of Cincinnati football team had seven student-athletes earn all-BIG EAST Conference honors, including first-team selections Zach Collaros and Armon Binns. Collaros was a unanimous selection as the first-team quarterback while Binns earned one of two wide receiver spots. Tight end Ben Guidugli, center Jason Kelce, running back Isaiah Pead, linebacker J.K. Schaffer and wide receiver D.J. Woods were named to the second team.
Head men's basketball coach Mick Cronin led the Bearcats to its first NCAA Championship appearance since 2005 and the first time in the Cronin Era. UC won the second round game against Missouri and finished the season 26-9, the most for the program since the 2001-02 season when it went 31-4. The 26 wins marks the third consecutive winning season under Cronin. In his five years, Cincinnati is the only team in the Division I ranks to improve its record each season (11 wins in 2006-07, 13 is 2007-08, 18 in 2008-09, 19 in 2009-10 and 26 in 2010-11).
The women's basketball team concluded its second season under head coach Jamelle Elliott with a 65-62 upset of No. 20/22 Marquette on senior night.
Head volleyball coach Reed Sunahara was named the 2010 BIG EAST Coach of the Year, his second after winning it previously in 2008, after winning the conference regular-season championship outright. His team went 30-6, the school's first 30-win season since 1983, advancing to the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season. UC's 39-match home winning streak is the second longest in the nation behind Penn State.
Senior Stephanie Niemer was named to the AVCA All-America Second Team, the program's first player to be named to the second team. She is the 2010 BIG EAST Player of the Year after being named the BIG EAST Player of the Week for five consecutive weeks and six weeks overall. She finished her UC career ranked first in service aces and second in kills and kills per set. She started all 36 matches this season and finished with 16 double-doubles, while leading the team in attacks, kills per set (5.12), points (5.93) and serves (.37).
Three track and field student-athletes earned All-America honors, including Terence Somerville, Eric Finan and Kathy Klump.
Eric Finan was named the NCAA Great Lakes region's Athlete of the Year after winning the Great Lakes Regional.
UC freshman Sean Kilpatrick was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team. He finished first on the team 3-point shooting (.337), third in points per game (9.7) and tied for fourth in steals (27).
Terence Somerville was named the 2010 BIG EAST Men's Most Outstanding Track Performer after capturing the 110-meter hurdles BIG EAST championship with a BIG EAST and Jumbo Elliot Stadium record-mark of 13.44 seconds, which is .02 seconds behind Olympic silver medalist David Payne's school record of 13.42. He ranks 20th in the U.S. and 31st in the world in the 110-meter hurdles and earned the Maury White Award for most outstanding performer at 2011 Drake Relays.
In swimming and diving, Liz Hansson swam the second-fastest 200 backstroke in UC history, Nathan Williams with the sixth-fastest 1,650-yard freestyle, and the women's 400-yard freestyle team of Hansson, Kinsey Kowalski, Bailey Laban, and Weronika Wasiakowska with the fifth-quickest.
Tennis head coach Angela Wilson lead the Bearcats to their third consecutive BIG EAST tournament.
Stephanie Niemer, Annie Fesl and Jordanne Scott earned AVCA All-Region honors.
Nineteen University of Cincinnati football student-athletes were among the 135 members of the 2010 BIG EAST All-Academic Football Team. The Bearcats 19 selections were the most of any BIG EAST Conference team.
University of Cincinnati running back John Goebel, a member of two BIG EAST championship teams and a key part of some of the most successful seasons in school history, was the 2010 American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
University of Cincinnati women's soccer midfielder Sydney Barker was named to the 2010 College Sports Information Director's of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District third team. Barker, a senior midfielder and two-year team captain, was voted to her first CoSIDA honor after earning a 3.59 grade point average as an aerospace engineering major. Barker started 16 of UC's 18 matches this season, scoring one goal on eight shots.
University of Cincinnati senior volleyball player Stephanie Niemer was named a 2010-11 American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Institutional Female Scholarship Award winner, the league announced Thursday. Niemer, an outside hitter from Erlanger, Ky., is one of 16 athletes - one from each BIG EAST school - to earn the award, which grants student-athletes $2,000 towards their continued education.
The student-athletes at the University of Cincinnati are active in the community with more than 500 players contributing 5,205 hours of community service in the 2009-10 academic year.
Among the various services provided were athletes that helped Assistance League workers fit inner city youth with uniforms for school, volunteering to work in the annual St. Rita's Haunted house, having a Bearcat Battle of the Can to collect food items for the Free Store Food Bank, visiting with residence of the Heartland of Madeira nursing home to make Valentine's, Putting on the 3rd annual Gatorade Pong tournament hosted by SAAC to raise money for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) helping stock the shelves and clean the Freestore Foodbank, and adopting a family that was in need, donating Christmas and Winter needs to them.