The University of Indianapolis Greyhounds Football team was honored on the floor of the Indiana Statehouse on Thursday, celebrating an undefeated and record-breaking regular season.
Fans across the city and region got behind the Greyhounds in 2017 as they pursued a perfect 11-0 regular season. Despite a loss in the first round of the playoffs to Harding University, the program’s success — as well as that of other sports in 2017– helped to solidify University of Indianapolis athletics as one of the elite programs in Division II.
“Our athletics programs continue to succeed because our coaches, staff and the families of our student athletes create an exceptional environment for students to excel, both on and off the field. This undefeated season is another chapter in the growth of our athletic programs and the excitement they add to the UIndy campus experience,” said University President Robert Manuel.
Student athletes at the University earned a cumulative GPA of 3.26 last semester–a testament to how hard they work to achieve athletic and academic goals, Manuel added.
Indiana Rep. Jack Sandlin (R-Indianapolis) ‘78, ‘94 facilitated the recognition Thursday by the Indiana Legislature. Representing the football team were captains Jake Purichia, Andrew Walker, Aeneas White and Ruben Holcomb, along with coaches and athletics administrators.
“Coming downtown and being in this building to get recognized was special,” Purichia said. “I’m proud of our coaches, staff and players for what we’ve accomplished.”
“It was a huge honor getting recognized for the great season we had,” Holcomb added. “It was my last season so going out in such a successful way means a lot.”
The 2017 season was the first undefeated regular season since 1953. The team also set new records for the most wins in a season (11), consecutive wins (15) and scoring offense (38.2 ppg). The Greyhounds matched team and Great Lakes Valley Conference marks for fewest interceptions thrown (4) and garnered a conference record 14 GLVC Player of the Week awards, while leading the nation in the fewest sacks allowed (0.5 per game).
The Hounds spent a total of eight consecutive weeks in the Top 10, peaking at a program high No. 5 as they went on to capture their fifth GLVC title in six years.
The football success was just one of many accolades enjoyed by UIndy sports teams in 2017. Greyhounds earned the sixth consecutive GLVC All-Sports Trophy, presented annually to the university demonstrating the best all around performance in the league’s 20 sponsored sports. Other team achievements in 2017 include:
- Men’s soccer were named GLVC Conference Champions.
- Women’s Golf broke individual, team and conference records on the way to earning the fourth-consecutive top-five finish in the NCAA tournament.
- Women’s tennis student-athletes Hanna Volikova and Alina Kislitskaya won the first ITA national doubles championship in program history.
- Men’s and Women’s Diving currently are ranked in the Top 10 in Division II programs.
- 253 Greyhound student-athletes were named to the GLVC All-Academic team.
“Our athletics success continues to produce benefits in recruitment and retention of students,” said Sue Willey, vice president for Intercollegiate Athletics at the University. “Being honored at the statehouse raises the profile of the team and the University as a whole. It’s a great honor and another positive development for the program that will motivate our student athletes and teams to continue their success.
Football Coach Bob Bartolomeo, who brought back 17 seniors this year, said the undefeated season was special because it has happened only twice since the program began.
“When you look at all the divisions and schools playing college football, it’s extremely difficult and takes a lot of work and effort to accomplish an undefeated season. That’s something we’re quite proud of,” said Bartolomeo, who also was named GLVC Coach of the Year.
Willey said she is excited about the future of the programs and their impact on the growth of the University.