UW-Green Bay women's golf team

Clockwise from top left: Katelynn Warpinski, Isabelle Maleki, Lauren Shorter, Lori Meyer, Ashley Kulka and Leah Hansen are part of a UW-Green Bay women's golf team striving for No. 1 academically. Together with recent grad Alix Larson and Courtney Matschke, not pictured, they ranked No. 2 in the 2019-20 Women's Golf Coaches Association NCAA Division I team grade-point average rankings.

Lee Reinke would like to think he has become smarter during his six seasons as golf coach at UW-Green Bay, just by driving his teams to their tournaments.

"When we're on the road, it's remarkable," Reinke said. "I told my wife I have learned more in the last six years than I may have in college."

But then he jokes that, if that is the indeed case, it is strictly via osmosis. 

After all, at least one of his two rolling study halls is transporting one of the collectively most brilliant NCAA Division I women's golf programs in all the land. We know this because the Women's Golf Coaches Association recently released its annual team grade-point rankings and the Phoenix came in at No. 2 for the 2019-20 season — COVID-19 be darned — with a 3.958 team GPA.

Only the University of New Mexico (3.965) ranked ahead of UWGB in Division I. Among NCAA Division III programs, UW-Stout was 15th (3.696), UW-Eau Claire was 19th (3.660) and Lakeland University of Sheboygan was 21st while St. Olaf (Minn.) — coached by Beloit native and former University of Wisconsin golfer Katie (Connelly) Luckraft — earned the No. 11 ranking (3.749). 

Wisconsin golfers compete on two other Division I teams that made the top 25: No. 7 Creighton (Hayward's Gabby Tremblay) and No. 8 Drake (South Milwaukee's Aimee Gerschke and Eau Claire's Lexi Meade). The state was represented in the Division II top 25 on No. 16 Concordia-St. Paul (Rice Lake's Katelyn Baribeau, Menomonee Falls' Isabella Dory and Ellsworth's Kacie Lansing) and on seven other Division III teams among the top 25, including No. 9 Grinnell-Iowa (Waterford's Aubrie Torhorst).

At Green Bay, Reinke admired his team's GPA given how much time is spent away from campus competing and the academic rigor that is reflected in the majors of the eight women on the roster.

"We have a small roster, ... so a lot of them are traveling every week," said Reinke, who also coaches the UWGB men's team. "It's Saturday travel, Sunday-Monday-Tuesday at the tournament and then we get back late Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning sometimes at midnight or 2 o'clock in the morning. And then it's a quick, three-day turnaround where they have to do laundry, study, do homework, qualify, practice, have some social time. All of those factors added in, a 3.958 is just phenomenal.

"In addition to that, they don't take 'How To Cut Lawn In A Straight Line' classes. Four human bio(logy) majors. Three business majors. And, not to be outdone, a mechanical engineering and math double-major for Ashley (Kulka). So it's quite a feat with all of those majors as well."

When word of his team's academic prowess started making the rounds among Reinke's circle of friends, he got an earful from some of his, um, friends.

"Some of my friends gave me grief, like 'boy, you're not going to their classes, thank goodness,'" Reinke said. "No, but at the same time I take a lot of pride in the caliber of player I recruit. I always look for a high-character, high-integrity individual – both men and women – as well as from a good family and a good student who can play golf. I always put the golf at the end."

In our Wisconsin.Golf Conversation, Reinke talks more about the academic prowess of both his women's and men's teams. He also looks ahead to the 2020-21 school year that will not begin, in the Horizon League, until October at the earliest. 

NCAA Division I team GPA rankings

Place University Team GPA
1 University of New Mexico 3.965
2 University Wisconsin-Green Bay
Denmark's Leah Hansen; Beaver Dam's Ashley Kulka; Oconomowoc's Alix Larson; Mequon Homestead's Isabelle Maleki; Franklin's Courtney Matschke; Appleton's Lori Meyer; Fitchburg's Lauren Shorter; Green Bay's Katie Warpinski
3.958
3 California Baptist University 3.95
4 Quinnipiac University 3.947
5 University of Arkansas at Little Rock 3.89
6 Florida Atlantic University 3.878
7 Creighton University
Hayward's Gabby Tremblay
3.873
T8 Drake University
South Milwaukee's Aimee Gerschke; Eau Claire's Lexi Meade
3.86
T8 University of Illinois 3.86
10 University of Denver 3.857
11 East Carolina University 3.852
12 Oral Roberts University 3.85
13 University of North Texas 3.849
14 University of South Carolina 3.845
T15 Eastern Washington University 3.832
T15 Rutgers University 3.832
T17 Harvard University 3.824
T17 University of Cincinnati 3.824
19 Morehead State University 3.82
20 University of Wyoming 3.819
21 Arkansas State University 3.815
T22 University of Delaware 3.811
T22 The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 3.811
24 University of Texas Arlington 3.806
T25 Seattle University 3.8
T25 Grand Canyon University 3.8
T25 Penn State University 3.8

NCAA Division II team GPA ranking

Place University Team GPA
1 Davenport University 3.918
2 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (FL) 3.839
3 University of Central Oklahoma 3.824
4 Wayne State University 3.816
5 Texas A&M University - Commerce 3.809
6 Tiffin University 3.799
7 Rockhurst University 3.797
8 Coker University 3.779
9 Colorado Christian University 3.745
10 Lindenwood University 3.737
11 University of Arkansas Monticello 3.734
T12 Wheeling University 3.731
T12 Lenoir-Rhyne University 3.731
T12 University of Central Missouri 3.731
15 The University of Findlay 3.723
16 Concordia University - St. Paul
Rice Lake's Katelyn Baribeau, Menomonee Falls' Isabella Dory and Ellsworth's Kacie Lansing
3.71
17 Oklahoma Baptist University 3.692
18 Rogers State University 3.685
19 University of West Georgia 3.677
20 Walsh University 3.676
21 Southwest Minnesota State University 3.673
22 Rollins College 3.67
23 University of Indianapolis 3.665
24 McKendree University 3.663
25 Saint Leo University 3.661

NCAA Division III team GPA ranking

Place University Team GPA
1 University of Texas at Dallas 3.86
2 Augsburg University 3.839
3 Washington University in St. Louis 3.833
4 Olivet College 3.798
T5 Carleton College 3.791
T5 Middlebury College 3.791
7 Marietta College 3.777
8 Centre College 3.767
9 Grinnell College
Waterford's Aubrie Torhorst
3.755
10 Carnegie Mellon University 3.75
11 St. Olaf College
Verona's Melissa Biesmann, Eau Claire's Andree Blackburn, Kenosha's Danielle Palmen and De Forest's Cassidy Schnell
3.749
12 DePauw University
Brookfield's Emily Balding
3.74
13 St. Catherine UniversityBrookfield's Sydney Brandt and Eau Clairie's Sydney Brown 3.722
14 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor 3.713
15 University of Wisconsin-Stout
Marshfield's Jordyn Fitzgerald; Greenleaf's Trystin Kluess; Menomonie's Mackenzie Maguire; Monona Grove's Klaire O'Reilly-Dye; Beaver Dam's Kendra Swanson; Lakewood's Grace Warrner.
3.696
16 Stevenson University 3.687
17 Huntingdon College 3.684
18 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 3.683
T19 University of Redlands 3.68
T19 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Freedom's Megan Glaeser; Mondovi's Julia Hayden; Sun Prairie's Jessica Rudnicki; Stevens Point's Abbie Ter Maat; Osceola's Anna Upzen
3.66
21 Lakeland University
Edgerton's Maddie Perkins & Makenzie Suhr; Kewaskum's Ashley Trapp
3.655
T22 Gustavus Adolphus College
Onalaska's Erin Ericson
3.642
T22 Illinois Wesleyan University
Lakewood's Maggie Warrner
3.642
24 Central College (Iowa)
Verona's Emily Opsal
3.639
25 Millikin University 3.63

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