HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University Athletic Department has released its 2014-15 annual report, which chronicles a truly record-breaking year for the Purple & White.
Champions In Competition
A record five HPU programs won conference titles in 2014-15, including the women’s soccer and men’s lacrosse teams which advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The men’s basketball team captured its third-straight regular season conference title, a feat matched by just five other programs in the country (Kansas, Gonzaga, Davidson, Harvard, Stephen F. Austin).
What’s more, 10 HPU track & field/cross country student-athletes won individual Big South titles, while a record 70 High Point student-athletes earned all-conference honors in 2014-15.
Champions In The Classroom
HPU teams matched that impressive performance in the classroom, where the department’s student-athletes combined to post school records for cumulative GPA (3.16) and single-semester combined GPA (3.18). A record 300 individuals were named Millis Scholar-Athletes while 22 posted perfect 4.0 GPAs. Three HPU student-athletes were named to Capital One Academic All-District Teams and two earned Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year accolades.
Panther Club Giving
The High Point University Panther Club secured a record $3.4 million in gift commitments during the 2014-15 campaign while the total number of Panther Club donors increased by more than 60 percent during the calendar year.
The creation of the Student-Athlete Excellence Fund in 2014-15 allowed the Panther Club to provide the necessary resources and opportunities for HPU student-athletes and teams to succeed. The Club also made an impact by gathering the resources needed to renovate and expand the baseball program’s locker room, coach’s offices, and coach’s locker room in the Steele Center. The Panther Club held its first student-athlete giving campaign, which saw 77 percent of current student-athletes give back to the SAEF and their respective teams. This year also marked the first time 100 percent of the HPU Athletics Department staff contributed to the Panther Club.
High Point University Athletics enjoyed unprecedented levels of national exposure in 2014-15. HPU teams appeared on national television 25 times in 2014-15 and the department streamed 92 home athletic contests on the Big South Network during the season. The Feb. 7 men’s lacrosse game vs. No. 3 Duke was seen by more than 12,000 people, setting a new single-game viewing record for the Big South Network.
HPU men’s basketball All-American John Brown continued to command the national spotlight in 2014-15, as the Jacksonville, Fla., native was profiled in features in Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News and The Pittsburgh Tribune. He appeared on SportsCenter’s Top Plays three times during the 2014-15 season, upping his total appearances to 10 over the past three years. In addition, Brown’s spectacular dunk vs. Coastal Carolina on Feb. 6 went viral and was featured by Deadspin, SB Nation, ESPN, NBCSports.com and more. The dunk was seen by more than 2.5 million people on Twitter.
More people than ever before followed HPU Athletics online in 2014-15. A record 826,000 individuals visited HighPointPanthers.com over the past year and the department’s YouTube page had a record 178,000 views.
In September, High Point University and the HPU athletic department officially dedicated the Witcher Athletic Center at Vert Stadium. The 36,000-square foot, $9 million facility is the home of the HPU men’s & women’s soccer and men’s & women’s lacrosse teams. It also provides impressive new spaces for athletic training, academic service and media and donor hospitality.
In June, the athletic department inducted the inaugural class of the High Point University Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony held inside the Millis Center. The eight-member class included Andreia Blanchard (’81, basketball), Dick Culler (’36, baseball/basketball/soccer), Karen (Curtis) McConico (’98, basketball), Bob Davidson (’55, cross country/track head coach), Otis Foster (’75, baseball), Gene Littles (’69, basketball), Brian Payne (’93, track & field) and Jerry Steele (men’s basketball head coach/HPU athletic director).