by Eddie Hughes
51 Bulldogs named to Academic All-Mountain West team
The fall 2014 Academic All-Mountain West team included 51 Fresno State student-athletes. The Bulldogs student-athletes from all sports held a 3.13 cumulative fall GPA, the highest ever on record. Fresno State had 283 student-athletes overall post GPAs of 3.0 or higher in the fall.
To be eligible for selection, student-athletes must have completed at least one academic term at the member institution while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, and be a starter or significant contributor on his or her team. Fresno State’s 51 honorees were the third-most in the conference, trailing New Mexico and Utah State with 61 each.
The volleyball team’s 12 honorees were the most by any team in the conference for that sport. Fresno State also had 18 football players, 12 women’s soccer players and five women and four men cross country runners selected.
Fresno State gets $500,000 gift for facility upgrades and more
Fresno State received a $500,000 anonymous gift to kick start several projects that will be completed in 2015. The gift will help support:
- Replacement and renovation of the North Gym court/floor
- Removal of crow’s nest in the North Gym that was used
for announcers and press during games
- New scoreboards and padding added to the North Gym
- New softball backstop netting system to protect fans from
first base to third base and eliminate poles that block sight lines
- Updated speaker system at Margie Wright Diamond
- Carpet replacement in all six locker rooms and hallways in the North Gym Annex
- Addition of a student-athlete lounge in the North Gym Annex
- Graphics and logos added to all locker rooms and hallways
- Sending the men’s basketball team on European tour in summer 2015
“We have very special donors here at Fresno State who understand and want to enhance many different student-athlete priorities,” says Jim Bartko, director of athletics. “Gifts like this have the ability to transform not only the physical presence of our facilities, but enhance the full student-athlete experience and the opportunity to excel at the highest level.”
Alumnus helps Patriots to Super Bowl win
Starting offensive lineman Ryan Wendell helped the New England Patriots to a 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. During his Fresno State career from 2004-2007, Wendell earned All-Western Athletic Conference, Academic All-WAC and 2004 WAC Freshman of the Year honors.
This was his second Super Bowl with the Patriots after losing to the New York Giants in 2012. Wendell is the fourth Bulldog to appear in multiple Super Bowls, joining offensive lineman Logan Mankins (twice with New England), tight end Stephen Spach (Arizona Cardinals and New England) and J.D. Williams (four times with the Buffalo Bills). In all, 21 former Bulldogs have reached the Super Bowl.