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Montevallo Achieves History by Winning Third Straight Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia

SAN ANTONIO, TX – The Association of Collegiate Anglers operates college fishing’s longest-running tournament series, the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series. First established in 2006, 18 years later the nationally televised college fishing tournament series continues to offer no-entry-fee events with purses between $20,000 and $30,000, as well as not charging college anglers any membership fees to be a part of all of the programs. In 2011, the ACA introduced the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. The School of the Year race is an all-encompassing National Rankings system that awards points to teams over the course of a 12 month stretch at national, regional, and local events, so that a true School of the Year can be crowned based on accomplishments on the water.

During the 2022-23 season, the University of Montevallo achieved college bass fishing history by winning the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia for a third time. Not only did they secure their third title, they did so in three-straight seasons. Montevallo jumps ahead of McKendree University and the University of North Alabama (each have two titles) in the record books to achieve a milestone that no other school had yet to accomplish.

“It’s been a great feeling knowing that our program has made history. It has been a team goal for us the last two years to win three titles in a row,” said William Crawford, Head Coach at the University of Montevallo. “We are just trying to enjoy this accomplishment because it’s not every day you get to win a Championship, much less three.”

Top ranked University of Montevallo finished the season in first place with a season total of 48, 825 points. That season points total bested the next closest competitor, Auburn University, by more than 3,700 points. Montevallo’s end of season points total is the highest of any team ever in the history of the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.

Here is a brief summary of Montevallo anglers’ top performances at School of the Year points qualifying events during the 2022-23 season. The University of Montevallo Bass Fishing Team had a boat finish in 1st place seven times this season. The top ranked team in the nation also had 37 Top 5 finishes.  In addition to 71 Top 10’s, Montevallo anglers achieved a whopping 150 Top 20 finishes. That’s an awe-inspiring amount of top finishes when you look at all of the different bodies of water the team fished during the season.

“I think this year’s title ranks higher than the other two to me just because three in a row has never been done before. It’s one of the highest honors you can achieve in college fishing, so it ranks pretty highly in my book,” explained Tyler Cory, University of Montevallo angler. “It does feel a little different because it is a team accomplishment, but when we win, we win as a team and when we lose, we lose as a team, so not much difference.”

Montevallo’s historic run started during the 2020-21 season. The University of Montevallo knocked off two-time defending title winner McKendree University to secure its first-ever School of the Year title. The following season, Montevallo secured its second-straight title on the shores of Pickwick Lake following the conclusion of the 2022 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. The victory during the 2021-22 season placed Montevallo amongst prestigious company, joining UNA and McKendree as the only schools to claim the title twice. The 2022-23 victory completes a vision that Coach Crawford sold to many of his anglers as they were high school seniors deciding to join the team at Montevallo.

“We have a special group of guys here at Montevallo. All of our upperclassmen believed in a vision when they were recruited, and they will always mean a lot to me and this program,” noted Coach Crawford. “We have great support from our administration, faculty and staff. They help in so many ways that allow us to be successful. All of our supporters, sponsors and parents are GREAT! I feel that we have the best support group and are there to help whenever they are called upon. It takes a village to make any program a success and we are fortunate to have all the correct pieces in place to make things happen.”

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