HICKORY, NC — For the fourth consecutive year, Lenoir-Rhyne University’s athletics department has reached new heights by giving back to the community. After completing 15e out of 316 NCAA Division II athletic programs in 2020-21, the Bears set a program record with a 9th-place finish in community service last year, as determined by Helper Helper, the official partner of NCAA Team Works. The LR men’s swim team finished second among all Division II men’s programs nationwide and the women’s swim team finished fourth among all DII women’s programs.
The Bears set a new school record with 7,291 total hours among LR student-athletes from 51 different organizations. 16 teams had a perfect 100% turnout among their rosters.
In women’s sports throughout Division II, the women’s swim team led all swim teams in community service hours. Women’s lacrosse finished second among the DII’s women’s lax programs and women’s golf, softball and women’s tennis each finished sixth in the DII in their respective sports. Rounding out the Division II top 10 teams in community service hours, the volleyball team finished eighth.
On the men’s side, soccer recorded the most community service hours of any DII soccer team in the country, as did the men’s swimming program. Men’s soccer (third), men’s lacrosse (sixth), men’s basketball (eighth) and men’s tennis (ninth) are also among the top 10 in the country among their respective sports.
Overall, Division II student-athletes volunteered more than 34,000 hours and had an economic impact of $988,226 according to Helper Helper.
As a team, the women’s swim averaged 44 hours per student-athlete in terms of community service and the men’s swim team averaged 37 hours. Football totaled the most hours contributed at 1,088 hours and 20 LR sports programs averaged at least 10 hours of community service per student-athlete. Individually, Caroline Hilliard of Cross Country/Track and Field had the most hours with 118 during the year.
The Bears were one of two South Atlantic Conference schools in the top 10 in Division II.