Daytona State Wins 12 Straight GPA Titles 0

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — For the past 12 years, Daytona State Junior College’s baseball program has had the highest team grade point average of all NJCAA baseball programs in the nation every single year.

The average cumulative GPA during this 12-year span has been 3.65.

The highest GPA was during the 2017-2018 academic year at 3.81. Incredibly, this program has gone 33 consecutive semesters with a 3.0 or higher team GPA.

It is an astounding achievement that has been spearheaded by Head Coach Tim Touma who is in his 18th year at Daytona State.

In most junior colleges, it is a constant chore getting players eligible. A certain percentage of junior college baseball players have a tough time with academics in high school while others have had trouble in 4-year institutions as they matriculate to the JC level.

How in the world has Touma accomplished this Herculean feat?

“I played junior college baseball at Palm Beach Community College years ago, and back then it was all baseball and not much in the way of academics,” said Touma, who later went on to play at the University of Florida where he was an Academic All-SEC performer.

“When I was hired at Daytona State in 2001, it was made clear to me from my athletics’ director and administration that academics had to be emphasized.

“That is the posture even today by our administration. As much as we all want to win baseball games, were are here to help young people with their future.

“The kids we brought in initially didn’t get great grades. We tried to just get young people to understand that having a good education is the most important thing even though baseball is fun and something we all love to do.

“Over the years, we have morphed into this baseball program that has great GPAs. Now it is an expectation to have teams that meet this academic standard every year.”

Touma said his system starts with support within his administration.

“We have a terrific academic advisor by the name of Cindy Iafanti who has been with us the whole time I have been here.  She has helped players with class scheduling so there isn’t any conflict with games during the season and during the fall, as well as practices.

“We try to schedule classes for our players with the best professors we can get. That is important to me.

“We never miss school for baseball. That policy is there all year long. If there is a conflict, you skip the game and the player goes to the lab, class or takes a test.

“Cindy does a great job of scheduling early morning classes to prevent conflicts.

“We have no overnight travel. All of our games are within a couple of hours once we get on a bus for away games. We typically arrive back from road trips at a reasonable time. Then our kids get a good night of sleep and are ready to go the next day.

“If we do have a rainout and games are made up, there have been times when we left kids behind because of class scheduling conflicts. That rarely happens because of good planning and spending years of coaching here.

“Attendance at every class is mandatory unless you are sick. That’s a big key as well.

“I want our players to sit in the first three rows of each class to form a relationship with the professor. We want our guys to be up front paying attention.”

To read more of this article, purchase the May 3, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Coach Touma explains a special organizational planner that each player must use among other areas that delve into why Daytona State has such incredible grade point averages every year.