The Senate of the One Hundred Fourth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee honored the Belmont University Bruins Men’s Basketball team for their outstanding 2005-2006 season today. The team members and coaches, along with Athletic Director Mike Strickland and Belmont President Robert Fisher, were invited to the Senate floor as Senator Douglas Henry presented a resolution to recognize them on their completion of an extraordinary season. The resolution passed by a unanimous vote, and the Bruins received a standing ovation.
The resolution commended Belmont for defeating archrival Lipscomb University to win the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, thus becoming the first Bruin program in school history to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins received a 15th seed and dominated most of the first half of their game against UCLA. They also honored Coach Rick Byrd, who marked his 20th season with the Bruins this year and has a record of 493 wins against only 284 losses.
The team was further recognized for their successes off the court. The Bruins boast a cumulative team grade point average of 3.164, and 12 team members are on the academic All-Conference team, including Justin Hare, who was named to the 2006 Academic All-District Men’s Basketball team with a 3.81 GPA. These players represent the overall high standards of Belmont University, which has won the Atlantic Sun Conference’s All-Academic Trophy for four consecutive years. The players were also commended for giving their time and talents to the community, working with church ministries and traveling on mission trips to Brazil, the Ukraine and Venezuela.