UHV named Champions of Character Institution for athletes’ personal excellence

The University of Houston-Victoria recently was recognized by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics as a 2007-2008 Champions of Character Institution for actively instilling high standards of virtue in its student athletes.

“This status means the NAIA found that our athletes exhibit the character traits encouraged by the Champions of Character program - respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship - in their daily decision making,” UHV Athletic Director Ashley Walyuchow said. “We’re extremely proud of what our athletes have accomplished on and off the field in our inaugural season.”

Champions of Character is an official program of the NAIA that encourages schools to help players develop strong moral fiber, an official said.

“Champions of Character uses the power of sport to teach lessons for life,” said Rob Haworth, NAIA vice president for Champions of Character. “I applaud UHV for its commitment to advance character-driven intercollegiate athletics.”

To receive the designation, UHV had to demonstrate how the campus incorporates the virtues encouraged by the Champions of Character program in five specific areas: athletic contests, public service projects, established policies related to behavior in practice and game situations, athletic and academic environment, and character education.

UHV is one of only 199 schools in the country to be named at Champions of Character Institution.

As an example of the high character of Jaguars players, Walyuchow pointed to the softball players’ work with mentoring students in the Victoria Independent School District. Baseball players will participate in the program this school year.

He also praised baseball players who coached area Little League teams and participated in rallies before standardized testing at F.W. Gross Montessori Magnet School in Victoria.

The Jaguars also gained a reputation in their first season for treating other teams well on and off the field.

 “In athletics, our coaches and staff set the highest standards for sportsmanlike conduct,” Walyuchow said. “As a result, our great players also are great people.”

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The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342