Six Pima Athletic programs named 2019-20 NJCAA Academic Teams of the Year

Several Pima Community College Athletic teams received high honors on Thursday as programs were featured as 2019-20 NJCAA Academic Teams of the Year.

  • The Aztecs produced six teams which is the most in school history. The Aztecs women's basketball team earned the highest GPA amongst the Pima programs as they finished with a 3.36 GPA. They had the highest GPA among NJCAA Region I programs.

Women's Basketball (3.36 GPA)

  • Todd Holthaus (Women's Basketball): "I couldn't be prouder of this team and everything they accomplished this year," Pima women's basketball coach Todd Holthaus said. "Region champs, earned a trip to Nationals and the cherry on top is to be an NJCAA Academic Team of the Year. A very special group of young women."

Women's Soccer (3.31 GPA)

  • Kendra Veliz (Women's Soccer) – "One of our team goals this year was to earn the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year Award," Pima women's soccer coach Kendra Veliz said. "I'm really excited that we were able to meet that. I'm proud of the efforts of our student-athletes especially with having to deal with the challenges due to COVID-19."

Men's Cross Country (3.23 GPA)

  • Mark Bennett (Men's and Women's Cross Country): "We cannot stress enough about the importance of doing well in school," Pima men's and women's cross country co-head coach Mark Bennett said. "By being an athlete and a good student on top of that, so many doors will be open. If student-athletes learn how to work hard in the classroom, they will work hard in their sport, future career and communities."

Men's Basketball (3.09 GPA)

  • Brian Peabody (Men's Basketball): "I'm pleased and very proud of my team's academic success," Pima men's basketball coach Brian Peabody said. "I want to thank Coach H (H Hendrickson), Penny (Turrentine) and Ernesto (Garcia) for all their hard work. Without them none of this would have been possible."

Volleyball (3.07 GPA)

  • Dan Bithell (Volleyball): "We are certainly proud and grateful to be recognized for something that we as a team, place as a cornerstone of our mission," Pima volleyball coach Dan Bithell said. "It is inspiring to see so many of our athletes across all of our sports finding high levels of academic success in the face of significant challenges this past semester. Go Aztecs."

Baseball (3.05 GPA)

  • Ken Jacome (Baseball): "I'm extremely proud of our guys considering the circumstances they endured this spring," Pima baseball coach Ken Jacome said. "Our program stresses the importance of academic success as much as we do baseball success. We have high academic expectations in our program and I am proud our guys are following through with the plan."

  • Jim Monaco (Interim Athletic Director): "This is as important as winning a national championship, we've never had this many teams earn NJCAA All-Academic. It's incredible," Pima Interim Athletic Director Jim Monaco said. "I think everyone looks at this and says we can be better. Our goal is that every student-athlete has the opportunity to graduate. This goes to show how hard athletes and coaches work and how much comradery there is in the tutoring and learning centers The teachers and instructors are excited about having our athletes; no more than any regular student. This is a big positive for our educational institution as a whole."

Here is the complete list of all the 2019-20 NJCAA Academic Teams of the Year: