Let’s come right out and say it: When it comes to athletic bragging rights among the NCAA Division I schools that compete in the Patriot League, Bucknell looks a lot like the New York Yankees in their glory days.
Bucknell has won the Presidents’ Cup for best overall performance across all
The Bison men’s basketball team has made the NCAA tournament six times and
twice won first-round upsets against teams from national powerhouse conferences.
Last year, when the Patriot League announced its 25th anniversary all-star teams
for all its sports, 67 Bison athletes were on the hallowed list.
They include Mike Muscala ’ 13, who plays professional basketball for the
Atlanta Hawks of the NBA, and Conor O’Brien ’ 10 and Mayowa Alli ’ 14, who play
professional soccer in Europe. Women’s basketball star Molly Creamer ’03 was
drafted by the WNBA’s New York Liberty as the 10th overall pick and played many
years as a pro overseas. After his senior season, men’s soccer player Chris Thorsheim
’ 16 signed with the New York Red Bulls, a leading team in Major League Soccer, the
highest-level U.S. pro soccer league.
Meanwhile, Bucknell ranks second, behind Stanford, in graduation rate among all
schools competing in NCAA Division I sports. More than half of Bucknell’s varsity
athletes — 441 — made the Patriot League academic honor roll in the 2014-15 season.
Bison athletes have been chosen as their sport’s outstanding Patriot League scholar-athlete 139 times.
Bucknell’s scholar-athlete wall of fame proudly lists 128 Academic All-Americans
tracing back to the honor’s debut in the early 1970s. Only four Division I schools in
the country have produced more.
How does Bucknell do it? What is the secret to this long-running tradition
of excellence in both athletics and academics?