A Record Seven Alabama Student-Athletes Earn CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large Team Honors
Alabama Athletics placed a record seven student-athletes on the 2018 Academic All-American At-Large team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) it was announced Thursday.
Swimmers Laurent Bams, Robert Howard and Luke Kaliszak made the men’s list while gymnast Mackenzie Brannan, tennis player Andie Daniell, golfer Kristen Gillman and swimmer Temarie Tomley earned a place on the women’s list.
The previous record for combined honors was six by Alabama (2017 and 2014) and the U.S. Naval Academy (2016). Alabama’s 2018 total was three better than the second-ranked school, Stanford.
“When you can only nominate four men and four women per year, and all eight earn a place on the district team and seven go on to earn Academic All-America honors, that’s quite an achievement,” UA Director of Athletics Greg Byrne said. “We take great pride in being the first school to ever accomplish this feat.”
Unlike the other Academic All-America teams which represent a single sport, the at-large program spans several men's and women's sports. The women's at-large team includes beach volleyball, bowling, rowing, field hockey, fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis and water polo, while the men include fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, water polo, volleyball and wrestling.
Bams, Howard, Kaliszak and Brannan all earned first-team honors while Tomley made the second team and Daniell and Gillman were named to the third team. It was the third Academic All-America honor for Brannan and the second for Kaliszak.
In addition to setting the record for combined men’s and women’s honors, Alabama also had the most women (four), the most men (three), the most first-team combined (four) and the most first-team men (three) on this year’s at-large teams.
Since nominations went from a maximum of three men and three women to four of each in 2014, Alabama has led the nation in at-large honors with 28, a dozen better than the next school.
Other Alabama CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large Team highlights over the last five years:
- Alabama’s total over the last five years is split evenly – 14 men and 14 women.
- The Crimson Tide’s combined total of 28 over the last five years is a dozen better than the next closest school, Minnesota (16). Also, Alabama’ 14 men and 14 women honorees are more than any school, outside of Minnesota, has combined honorees.
- Alabama was the first school to have four women earn at-large honors in a single year (2014) and the first to have four men earn at-large honors in a single year (2017).
- Alabama was the first to have four women earn at-large honors in a single year more than once (2014 and 2018).
The Alabama men’s swimming and diving program has been particularly prolific over the past four years, with six swimmers earning 12 honors. That total is nearly double what any other school has over that span for all sports combined.
Bams, Howard and Kaliszak are each All-Americans and led Alabama to a 13th-place national finish this season. Kaliszak is the 2018 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was a finalist for the H. Boyd McWhorter SEC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Brannan, Gillman and Tomley have each earned All-America honors in their respective sports, while Daniell earned First Team All-SEC honors this season. Brannan was a finalist for the H. Boyd McWhorter SEC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and she and Kaliszak both earned NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships.
Brannan, Kalisak and Tomley graduated in May. Bams, Daniell and Howard were juniors last season, while Gillman just finished her sophomore season. .