KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Rio Grande is one of 180 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member schools to be recognized as a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution.
The announcement was made by the national office Wednesday morning.
The Champions of Character Scorecard measures commitment in the initiative’s five core areas and has a possible 100 points. Three levels of recognition are awarded – Gold (90-100 points), Silver (75-89 points) and Bronze levels (60-74).
Institutions are measured on a demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character and earned points in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Institutions earned points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by having minimal to no ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year.
“We’re so proud of our Athletic Department for the accomplishment of being named a Bronze Champions of Character Five-Star Institution,” said University of Rio Grande athletic director Jeff Lanham. “The Live-5 initiative provides training for student-athletes and professional development for coaches and staff. The core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership are put into play and accounted for by our athletic department.”
Rio Grande has been a Five-Star Institution every year since the program’s inception.
Lanham said that Rio Grande conducts training throughout the year as individuals, teams, coaches and administrators to promote the department’s development in more than just wins and losses.
“Our goal is to develop our student/athletes to compete in life and be successful as a friend, colleague, parent and teammate,” Lanham added.
There were 112 gold winners, 46 silver winners, and 22 bronze winners. NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Conference Awards were earned by 16 NAIA Conferences, including the River States Conference, of which Rio Grande is a member.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.