PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Continuing its tradition of academic excellence, the Brown men's water polo team posted a team grade point average of 3.490 for the best mark in Division I and the second-best GPA across all divisions, earning recognition from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC). The Bears saw 14 athletes receive ACWPC All Academic awards and earned their highest team GPA since 2011 when they finished with a nation-best 3.520.
"I wish I could take credit for keeping these athletes so focused academically, but it's really about the attitude that Brown University fosters," said Head Coach Felix Mercado. "Brown teaches students that whatever you do, be the best. These athletes didn't come to an Ivy League school to just get by. They came here to be the best at whatever they do once they graduate, and that comes from the environment they're in and how they're wired. Their passion is second to none."
Three Bears were dubbed with "Outstanding" status for a GPA between 4.00 and 3.71: senior Grant Villeneuve (Atherton, Calif.) and freshmen Luke Weiser (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Jake Wyatt (Corona Del Mar, Calif.). Six were named "Superior" (3.70-3.41): seniors Chris Culin (Danville, Calif.) and Eric Robb (Winnetka, Ill.), juniors Andrew Brown (Western Springs, Ill.) and Nick Deaver (Orinda, Calif.), sophomore Will Klein (Pasadena, Calif.) and freshman Eben Blake (Lawrenceville, N.J.). Five were tabbed "Excellent" (3.40-3.20): seniors James McNamara (Encino, Calif.) and Walker Shockley (Diamond Bar, Calif.), junior Henry Fox (Mercer Island, Wash.), sophomore Matty Gallas (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and freshman Luke Irwin (Thousand Oaks, Calif.).
The recognition comes on the coattails of a handful of other accolades, including ACWPC All-American nods for Fox and McNamara in February and an Academic All-Ivy selection for McNamara in December.