Education First: Football Continues Academic Strides – EMU Eagles

YPSILANTI, Mich. ( – For the third time in the last seven years, the Eastern Michigan University football program led the Mid-American Conference in mean grade point average (GPA). Eastern notched an impressive 3.158 GPA when combining the fall and winter terms. The next closest MAC school recorded a 3.148.

In recent years, the Green and White have taken home the league’s football academic crown in 2014-15, 2015-16, and now in 2020-21.

“This is obviously something that our team is very proud of accomplishing” remarked Head Coach Chris Creighton. “COVID made this academic year  extremely challenging but our guys rose to the occasion. They have proven once again that you can excel on the field and in the classroom.”

Since 2013, the football team has made tremendous strides in changing its culture on the field, in the community, and in the classroom.

A MAC-leading 106 EMU football student-athletes have landed on the league’s Academic All-MAC teams since 2014 when Creighton arrived. EMU’s number is two ahead of Western Michigan (104) and four ahead of Ball State (102) as the only conference institutions to surpass the century mark over that span.

Earlier this week, junior kicker Chad Ryland (Lebanon, Pa.-Cedar Crest) and senior center Mike Van Hoeven (Paw Paw, Mich.-Paw Paw) earned 2021 Academic All-District honors, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced on Thursday, June 10. EMU was one of just four Mid-American Conference programs to have multiple representatives on the all-district teams.

Van Hoeven – who was also CoSIDA Academic All-District in 2018 and 2019 – is the first Eastern Michigan football student-athlete to be recognized three times in a career. Meanwhile, Ryland is the first EMU specialist to be recognized since kicker Andrew Wellock in 2006 and 2007.

With the season fast approaching, the EMU Ticket Office has announced the sale of 2021 ticket packages. EMU’s schedule features six home games, with the first set to be played on Friday, Sept. 3, against Saint Francis (Pa). Visit the official ticketing page at for more information.

To keep up-to-date with all things EMU football, follow the team on Twitter @EMUFB or visit the team’s web page of