Academic Services for Student-Athletes
Mark Gumble was hired at UCF in August, 2005 as the director of Academic Services for Student-Athletes. Gumble came to UCF after serving in a similar role at San Diego State University and Binghamton University.
Upon his arrival to UCF, Gumble established the Knight's Education Enhancement Program (KEEP); an academic mentoring program for all new and at-risk student-athletes. He also expanded the tutorial program at UCF within his first year of service. Since then Gumble has expanded ASSA resources and recruited an outstanding staff, which now includes six full-time employees with advising responsibilities and a learning specialist. Each of these initiatives helped UCF student-athletes reach new levels of success in the classroom.
The average team-GPA has exceeded 3.0 in four of the past six semesters, including the last three consecutive terms. UCF has placed more student-athlete on the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll than any other institution in the Conference during each of the past three years. UCF set a new benchmark for the conference in 2009 by placing a record 232 students on the Commissioner's Honor Roll.
The graduation rates of student-athletes have also climbed during Gumble's tenure. During the past two years, the federal graduation for student-athlete has jumped 20 points and is now higher than the general student population at UCF. The NCAA Graduation Success Rate for student-athletes at UCF is currently at 76%, which represents the second highest mark in school history.
The Academic Progress Rate (APR) for teams at UCF is also on the rise. Eleven of UCF's 16 teams have shown increases in the past four years. Those with the biggest gains include football (57), baseball (29), and men's soccer (24). Since the inception of the NCAA Academic Performance Program in 2003-04 UCF teams have earned a perfect single-year APR score of 1000 on 19 occasions. Teams that have scored 1000 include: baseball, men's cross country, men's golf, men's tennis, women's basketball (twice), women's cross country (twice), women's rowing, women's golf (3 times), women's softball (twice), women's soccer, women's tennis (twice), and women's volleyball (twice).
Gumble attributes the academic success of the student-athletes at UCF to his staff's commitment to academic integrity and excellence, which are two of the tenets of the UCF CREED. The development of the Knight's Education Enhancement Program is also an important component to reaching new levels of success. More than 45% of UCF student-athletes participate in this state-of-the-arts mentoring program, designed to develop academic and time management skills for all new and at-risk student-athletes. The addition of the new learning specialist has helped in increasing the effectiveness of this program as has increasing the numbers and availability of CRLA certified tutors.
A dual graduate from Binghamton University, Gumble earned his Bachelor's degree in English in 1988 and a Master's degree in social science there in 1993. As a student-athlete at Binghamton he was a three-time All-American wrestler and won a national championship. He still holds the school record for most wins in a career.
Gumble was named head wrestling coach of his alma mater in 1988. During his nine-year coaching career, Gumble coached 13 Academic All-Americans and four national place winners. Seven of his teams ranked in the top 25 nationally. In 1994, he created the education enhancement program for student-athletes at Binghamton and served as the director of that program until 1998.
Gumble has been inducted into five halls of fame, including high school, college, NY wrestling coaches and NCAA Division III Wrestling coaches.
Gumble worked at San Diego State University from 1998 through 2005 and served as director of Student-Athlete Academic Services for five of those years. Gumble was instrumental in increasing the graduation rates, number of scholar-athletes, and team GPA's during his years of providing leadership at SDSU.
Regarded as an expert in the field of academic success, Gumble received training from the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletes (N4A) to serve as an academic consultant for Division I institutions. The National Wrestling Coaches Association has utilized Gumble's consulting services to educate coaches throughout the country for the past two years. The sport of wrestling has experienced the second greatest improvement in APR scores of any NCAA sponsored sport during the past two years. Gumble has been an active member of the N4A for more than 15 years and has been a facilitator at the NCAA Leadership Conference on three different occasions.