Athletics & Recreation

Senior lacrosse player honored for academic success

Senior lacrosse midfielder Jack Pruitt received an NCAA Elite 89 Award in May 2015. Photo: Justin Edmonds

Senior lacrosse midfielder Jack Pruitt received an NCAA Elite 89 Award in May 2015. Photo: Justin Edmonds

Senior lacrosse midfielder Jack Pruitt is finding success both on and off the lacrosse field. A business information and analytics major with minors in mechanical engineering, medical physics and mathematics, Pruitt has a full workload. But even with his busy schedule, he has maintained a 3.946 GPA—a major factor in the NCAA Elite 89 Award Pruitt received in May 2015.

The Elite 89 Award is presented to student-athletes who have demonstrated high academic achievement in addition to athletic achievement. Eighty-nine students in total are honored each year for academic performance—one student-athlete from each of the NCAA’s 89 annual championship games.

Pruitt says the academic standards set by his teammates were a big motivator in his own success.

“Without so many of my teammates also being excellent academic performers, me receiving the Elite 89 Award would not have happened,” Pruitt says. “It means a tremendous amount to me to have brought it home to DU, whether it was me receiving it or one of my teammates. . . . I’m happy to be representing the University of Denver as an institution of athletic and academic success, and I also have that small sense of pride in myself that I did work hard to achieve what I did.”

Outside of school and lacrosse, Pruitt also coaches youth lacrosse during the offseason, and he interned with the EMC Corp., a global IT services provider, over the summer. He says he balances athletics, academics and outside activities by focusing on what’s important to him.

“I’m confident in my ability to keep it balanced, and I do that by focusing on why I’m here,” he says. “I came here to get an education and to put forth my best abilities on the lacrosse field, and anything else is just supplemental to that,” says the senior from Sammamish, Wash.

He stresses that he’s had help in reaching the level of success he’s achieved.

“You of course have to pay respect to [head lacrosse coach Bill] Tierney as the fabled lacrosse mentor that he is for bringing us as a team — and me personally — to the level that we have achieved,” Pruitt says. “My advisors and my professors in the data analytics and engineering departments thus far have been nothing but accommodating to my lacrosse commitments and working with me to help me achieve my best work in the classroom while also achieving my best work out on the lacrosse field.”

Pruitt is taking a full course load during his senior year, and he hopes to keep his grades up and continue to perform well on the lacrosse field. He’s also looking forward to the prospect of defending DU’s lacrosse title in the upcoming year.

“Every year that I’ve been here, we’ll play our last game of the season and I’ll be packing up my stuff and I think to myself, ‘This is our best chance; there’s no way we’re going to be better next year. We’re losing so many guys; it’s going to be a totally different experience.’ But every single year thus far we’ve only been better the next year,” he says. “If that’s the same feeling that I’ve had the past three years and we’ve just won a championship in my junior year, who’s to say we couldn’t do it next year?”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *