Archive for September, 2014

The Citadel sacks Gardner-Webb, 37-14, for Mike Houston’s first win

September 28, 2014

Jeff Hartsell postandcourier.com
Sep 28 12:57 a.m.

During an 0-3 start – and the first three-game losing streak of his coaching career – Citadel coach Mike Houston kept preaching the same sermon to his Bulldogs. “He kept telling us, ‘It’s gonna break, it’s gonna break,'” said Citadel linebacker Tevin Floyd. “And he said, ‘When it breaks, it’s gonna break big.'” It broke big on Saturday night, as The Citadel piled up 509 yards and a school-record 10 sacks in a 37-14 rout of Big South foe Gardner-Webb before 8,573 fans at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

Quarterback Aaron Miller ran for 91 yards and three touchdowns and passed for a career-high 186 yards as The Citadel won for the first time under first-year coach Houston, improving to 1-3 heading into next week’s Southern Conference opener at Wofford.”This week, there was a different energy, a different vibe in practice,” said Houston, whose team lost by 20-18 at Charleston Southern last week. “That was surprising, coming out of a loss. But there was confidence out there … I told them, you’ve got too much momentum, you are doing too many things right. “At some point, it was going to go our way. And when it goes our way, sometimes it can be suffocating for the opponent.”

Suffocating is the right word. Gardner-Webb, which racked up 358 yards (126 rushing) in a 43-36 win over Wofford last week, was held to minus-2 yards rushing by The Citadel. Four Bulldogs – linebacker Tevin Floyd and linemen Mark Thomas, Mitchell Jeter and Justin Oxendine – had at least two sacks each. Gardner-Webb quarterback Lucas Beatty hit 29 of 35 passes for 280 yards, and All-America receiver Kenny Cook caught nine passes for 103 yards and a TD. But after Beatty’s 1-yard TD pass to Cook for a 14-13 early in the third quarter, The Citadel stepped on Gardner-Webb with 24 straight points to end the game.
“It was the best feeling you could ever have as a defense,” said Jeter, who led The Citadel with 2½ sacks. “Their quarterback is an amazing one, and the only way to get at him, to get him out of his comfort zone, was to put pressure on him, and that’s what we did.”

Citadel offensive coordinator Brent Thompson threw a changeup at Gardner-Webb (2-3), opening the game with Miller throwing the ball. The senior quarterback had completed only 20 percent of his throws in the first two games, but on the Bulldogs’ first possession he hit Cam Jackson for 19 yards and Rudder Brown for 47. That set up the first of Miller’s three TD runs, and sent a message to the Gardner-Webb defense. Miller hit 8 of 15 passes for a career-high 186 yards and wasn’t sacked once. Six different receivers caught passes, led by Brown and Jackson with two each.

“We thought that with the way their secondary played in run support, they’d make themselves a little susceptible to the pass,” Houston said. “We had a few wrinkles, a few checks at the line for Aaron, and he did a good job delivering the ball. And we caught the ball, which we had been a little suspect at.” The success throwing the ball opened up the run game, which produced 323 yards. Slotback Jake Stenson averaged 12.8 yards per carry for 77 yards, while fullback Isiaha Smith gained 58 yards and Jackson had 57. The Bulldogs averaged an astounding 7.0 yards per play on 73 plays.

“We had faith in Coach Houston, and he told us the it was going to break and the conditioning and aggressiveness is going to pay off,” Miller said. “And it paid off tonight. We had to get them off our running game, and we’ve been missing passes. We had to make some throws and catches, and the offensive line protected very well.”

The Citadel led by 13-7 at the half and by 19-14 when the defense forced its first turnover of the season, a strip-sack by linebacker Carson Smith. That set up Miller’s second TD, on a 1-yard run, and broke the game open at 27-14. Eric Goins kicked field goals of 28, 32 and 24 yards for The Citadel.

Citadel Notes: Bulldogs’ defense runs wild with 10 sacks

September 28, 2014

Jeff Hartsell postandcourier.com
Sep 27 2014 10:26 pm

For a while there, Citadel fans might have been unsure if they were watching a football game or a TV special from “Shark Week.” The feeding frenzy reached its apex at the end of the third quarter, when The Citadel defense sacked Gardner-Webb quarterback Lucas Beatty on three straight plays. Defensive end Mark Thomas broke free to sack Beatty on first down; tackle Mitchell Jeter bulled his way to the QB on second down; and defensive end Justin Oxendine got Beatty for an 8-yard loss on third down. And on fourth-and-35, Gardner-Webb punted.

All told, The Citadel racked up a school-record 10 sacks. That’s two more than the previous Citadel mark of eight sacks, reached three times, most recently in 2005 against VMI.

Jeter had 2½ sacks, while linebacker Tevin Floyd, Thomas and Oxendine had two each. Linebacker Carson Smith had the most costly sack, a strip-sack that led to a fumble and The Citadel’s first forced turnover of the season. And freshman lineman Jonathan King chipped in with a half-sack. Gardner-Webb had two starting linemen out with injury, but it was still a remarkable performance. Wofford had just one sack of Beatty in last week’s 43-36 loss to Gardner-Webb.

“We had not forced a turnover yet, and the best way to force a turnover in our defense is to get back there and pressure the quarterback,” said Oxendine. “We wanted to pressure him and get those sacks and those forced fumbles. That was a big emphasis this week.” All told, The Citadel had 12 tackles for loss and held Gardner-Webb to minus-2 yards rushing, tied for the third-lowest total in Citadel history. “We were able to move around some and keep the offense on their heels, keep them guessing,” said Floyd, who had eight tackles. “That’s what we practiced all week, working on keeping the quarterback out of his comfort zone.”

Gardner-Webb coach Carroll McCray said Smith’s strip-sack was huge. “It came down to a matter of execution, and we weren’t able to execute as well as needed down the stretch,” said McCray. “We showed some immaturity in some areas. The turnover at midfield hurt and The Citadel strung some scores together. The proof is in the pudding. We have to go back and correct some things to get better going forward.”

Extra Points:
Junior Mike Mabry made his first start at right tackle and helped the Bulldogs rush for 323 yards. Senior tackle Victor Hill, now off suspension, did not play due to injury.

Senior slotback Dalton Trevino made his first appearance of the season, coming back after injuring his knee in the spring … Kicker Eric Goins is now 5 of 5 on field goals and 4 of 7 on extra points this season.

For Military Appreciation Day, The Citadel wore a red, white and blue Block C on its helmets, along with a sticker with the number 440 for the number of cadets who have died in military service. The Bulldogs also wore throwback jerseys to honor the 1960 Tangerine Bowl team.

Charleston Southern makes it two straight over The Citadel, 20-18

September 22, 2014

by Jeff Hartsell postandcourier.com
Sep 20 10:55 pm

Charleston Southern coach Jamey Chadwell emerged from the locker room Saturday night wearing a smile and a T-shirt with a message.
“Charleston, it’s Southern’s City,” read the shirt. And after the Buccaneers’ 20-18 win over The Citadel – their second straight over their Lowcountry rival, and in front of a record crowd at CSU Stadium – it’s difficult to argue the point. “In this city and for what we are trying to make with this rivalry, it’s big on that end,” said Chadwell, whose team took a 32-29 win over The Citadel last year to kick-start a 10-3 season. “You saw how our kids reacted. They feel like they get looked down on all the time … for them to come out and say, ‘We’re on equal footing,’ that’s what is huge for us right now. Our kids deserve that.”

A record crowd of 7,954 turned out to see The Citadel play at Charleston Southern for the first time, and saw the Bucs get off to a 4-0 start for the second straight season. “A lot of people said last year was a fluke,” said CSU quarterback Austin Brown, who hit 12 of 22 passes for 153 yards, and ran for a 4-yard touchdown. “Well, we showed it was no fluke.” The Bulldogs, meanwhile, fell to 0-3 in coach Mike Houston’s first season. With Gardner-Webb (a 43-36 winner over Wofford on Saturday) and Wofford (which has beaten The Citadel 15 straight times) next on the slate, the Bulldogs have little time to get a struggling offense on track. “Anybody who is not blind can see their improvement,” Houston said of the Bulldogs. “But I told those kids in there, I have their back and by God they better have mine … Every game we have left is going to be something like this, and I believe we’ve got a great shot every single week. We’ve just got to correct our mistakes.”

Citadel quarterback Aaron Miller ran 22 times for 120 yards, and slotback Jake Stenson and freshman fullback Isiaha Smith each scored touchdowns. But The Citadel hit just 2 of 11 passes for a mere 20 yards, lost two fumbles and was penalized seven times for 77 yards. Those penalties wiped out runs of 22, 19, 24 and 13 yards. “We made too many mistakes,” said Miller. “To beat a good team, you can’t have that many penalties and that many mistakes.”

CSU took a 20-10 lead on a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown by sophomore Darius Hammond in the third quarter, and a 32-yard field goal by freshman David Kennedy with 13:18 left in the game. The Bulldogs drove 52 yards in eight plays for Smith’s 1-yard TD run, with a fourth-down personal foul penalty on CSU keeping the drive alive. Holder Dane Anderson converted a trick play for a 2-point conversion, bringing The Citadel to within 20-18 with 8:54 still to play.
The Citadel got the ball back twice more, but went three-and-out the first time. The Bulldogs’ last chance ended when Smith and Miller couldn’t connect on a handoff, CSU’s Zeke Johnston recovering the fumble with 1:26 left.

Charleston Southern fans chanted “CSU! CSU!” as the Bucs ran out the final seconds. “I hope we did our part with the crowd tonight, and I hope this is something both teams want to continue,” Chadwell said. The Bucs took a 10-3 lead at the half behind the efforts of sophomore receiver Colton Korn, who finished with five catches for 75 yards. Korn, younger brother of former Clemson quarterback Willy Korn (now a CSU assistant), caught third-down passes of 20, 19 and 17 yards to keep CSU drives alive. The first two set up a 23-yard field goal by Kennedy for a 3-0 CSU lead early in the second quarter.
Korn’s third catch, in traffic on 3rd and 17, led to Brown’s 4-yard TD run and a 10-0 CSU lead with 5:40 left in the second quarter. The Bulldogs managed a 16-play, 61-yard drive at the end of the half, with Eric Goins kicking a 26-yard field goal to get The Citadel within 10-3 at the break.

Citadel’s mild-mannered Jake Stenson flips switch on the field

September 19, 2014
Jake Stenson, Bulldog #24

Jake Stenson, Bulldog #24

Jeff Hartsell postandcourier.com
Posted 9/18/14 3:03 pm

But before the Bulldogs could get a substitute onto the field, the offense lined up for the next snap, running a play that required Stenson to throw the lead block. “He made a great block, then came out of the game in tremendous pain,” said Citadel coach Mike Houston. “In spite of that pain, he was going to do what the team needed him to do. That kind of toughness and competitiveness is something you can’t measure in size and stature.

Citadel fans surely know by now that Stenson’s football abilities belie his mild-mannered appearance. When he’s dressed in seersucker pants and a white button-down shirt, the 5-11, 200-pounder looks more like a typical MBA student – which he is – than the owner of the second-best rushing average in the Southern Conference. “Just goes to show, you can’t judge a book by its cover,” Houston said.

A fifth-year senior from Jacksonville, Fla., Stenson is averaging 11 yards per carry this season in the Bulldogs’ triple-option offense, behind only Wofford’s Ray Smith (14.9 ypc) in the SoCon. Stenson is averaging 82.5 yards per game, third in SoCon rushing behind Mercer’s Alex Lakes (112.3 ypg) and Citadel teammate Tyler Renew (89 ypg). Not bad for a former walk-on who suffered a serious knee injury (torn ACL) on his first day in pads at The Citadel back in 2011 and didn’t earn a full scholarship until August 2013.

“Jake is one of those guys who is a really, really good football player who maybe doesn’t exactly fit the mold,” Houston said. “But he’s been very productive every chance he’s had this year. He can run, catch, block … I lined him up last week and he kicked a 20-yard field goal in practice, so he’s just overall a pretty good athlete.”

Stenson was just such an all-around athlete at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, which produced former Atlanta Braves great Chipper Jones, among others. He played football, soccer and lacrosse, helping The Bolles School to state titles in football and soccer, and was named MVP of the state championship game in football. Despite that success, Stenson had only Division II offers for football and lacrosse, and a chance to walk-on at The Citadel, where out-of-state tuition tops $40,000 per year. After convincing his parents he could make it at The Citadel, Stenson tore his ACL on his first day in pads in 2011.

But after rehab and playing mostly on special teams in 2012, Stenson emerged as a reliable play-maker last season, catching three of the Bulldogs’ five touchdown passes in 2013. This season, he’s rushed for more yards in two games (165) than he did all last season (128). In the Bulldogs’ option offense, fullback Renew and quarterback Aaron Miller are going to get the most carries. For Stenson and his fellow slotbacks, the game is a matter of trust and opportunity where throwing a block is just as important as carrying the ball.

“There’s a lot of teamwork involved,” Stenson said. “You’ve got to trust the blocker in front of you, which for me is usually Vinny Miller or Cam Jackson or Jonathan Dorogy. You know you won’t get as many carries as the fullback and your main goal is to be the best blocker you can be. And when you do get the ball, you have to trust the guy in front of you.” The Citadel

Will Citadel fans turn out for Bulldogs’ game at Charleston Southern?

September 19, 2014

By Jeff Hartsell: postandcourier.com
Sep 16 2014 4:48 pm

New Citadel athletic director Jim Senter made a scouting trip to Charleston Southern this week, checking out the venue for the Bulldogs’ football game at CSU on Saturday. “Big game against the Buccaneers. Need U #GOTOTHEGAME,” Senter posted on his Twitter account after his drive up I-26.

As The Citadel prepares for its first game at Lowcountry rival Charleston Southern on Saturday, there is some question as to exactly how enthusiastic Bulldog fans are about making the trip to CSU Stadium, located in North Charleston off U.S. Highway 78 near Interstate 26. The Citadel ticket office sold just 170 of the 530 tickets it received from CSU for consignment, returning 360 to Charleston Southern. The Bulldogs also received 250 complimentary tickets for the 6 p.m. game.

“I was like, ‘Wow, I’m not sure of why that is,'” Senter said of the returned tickets. “I’m not sure if people were not aware we had tickets to be purchased, or if people think it’s sold out, or if people think Charleston Southern’s stadium is too small to accommodate Citadel fans. But I want people to know we are taking this game very seriously. It’s a big game for our team, and Charleston Southern is a good opponent and we need to take this seriously. My goal is to get as many fans there as we can, to support our team and to play the very best game we can play.”

The previous seven meetings with CSU (the Bulldogs are 5-2 against the Buccaneers) have been played at The Citadel’s 21,000-seat Johnson Hagood Stadium, drawing an average attendance of 13,201 fans, including 12,196 for the Buccaneers’ 32-29 win over The Citadel last season. CSU Stadium has a capacity of 4,000 seats, and Charleston Southern announced last week that it would add about 700 seats to the visitors’ side of the stadium, expanding that side to 1,628 seats and the total capacity to 4,700. CSU Stadium can also accommodate standing-room only crowds, which explains last year’s record of 6,135 fans for a game against Coastal Carolina.

CSU athletic director Hank Small said Tuesday that there is not a “sell-out” limit on the number of tickets available for Saturday’s game. “We had very large crowds last year for our Charlotte and Coastal games and did not ‘sell out’ due to the fact that we will continue to sell general admission tickets,” Small said in an e-mail. “We have very large standing room areas that will accommodate general admission. People need to plan to arrive early to be assured of a general admission seat or to purchase a reserved seat.”
The game at Charleston Southern was scheduled by former Citadel athletic director Larry Leckonby after Southern Conference realignment left The Citadel with only seven league games in 2014 instead of eight. That put the Bulldogs at risk of playing only 11 games in a season in which they could schedule 12.

Citadel alumnus Paul Tamburrino, a member of the Citadel Football Association and a director on the alumni association’s board, said some Citadel fans wondered why the game was scheduled at CSU. “I think there was some concern about why our decision-makers would send us to a stadium with 4,000 seats,” Tamburrino said. “And I think there was some apathy about the game at the beginning of the year. “But now Citadel fans are starting to get excited about our coaching staff, and the results of our last game (a 37-12 loss at No. 1 Florida State). So there has been a big influx this week of people buying tickets. I had 20 tickets, and they went just like that. We want Citadel fans to wear light blue, to show that we can fill their stands. “We’re itching for some football, and we haven’t had a home game since the (Aug. 30) season opener. I think we’ll have a good crowd, and the people that go will be true fans. It will be a boisterous crowd.”

Whatever the fans’ attitude, there’s no question Citadel coach Mike Houston and his players are taking CSU quite seriously. “At the end of the day, I have very little control of our fan base as far as them embracing us playing up there,” Houston said. “For us, our players are just as excited about this game as about playing any other road game. I think it will be a very, very good environment with the two teams in the Charleston area going head-to-head.”

Citadel AD apologizes to Florida State; Seminoles coach says Bulldogs player made ‘knucklehead’ comment

September 11, 2014
Citadel A.D. Jim Senter

Citadel A.D. Jim Senter

Jeff Hartsell postandcourier.com
Sep 10 5:38 pm

The Citadel athletic director Jim Senter has sent an e-mail of apology to Florida State regarding controversial comments made by a Bulldogs lineman after a 37-12 loss to the top-ranked Seminoles last Saturday. Meanwhile, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher dismissed the comments as “a young man being a knucklehead.”

Citadel lineman Victor Hill was suspended indefinitely by coach Mike Houston after posting a comment to a Post and Courier article last Sunday. In the article, Fisher talked about the Bulldogs’ cut-blocking and said he’d rather play “more conventional teams, just because of the injuries.” In his post, Hill wrote that he “contributed to the injury list and that was just the mindset going into the game.” FSU had three defensive linemen injured in the game, although film showed that none was injured by a cut-block.

In his weekly news conference Tuesday, Fisher said he’d talked with Houston about the controversy. “We had a great conversation,” Fisher said. “They don’t teach that and I don’t think it’s indicative of their program. They’ve got a great program. Things happen and kids do things … That’s just one young man being a knucklehead.”

In his apology, The Citadel’s Senter said Hill had shown “poor judgment.” Here is Senter’s apology to FSU, published in the Tallahassee Democrat on Wednesday: “On behalf of The Citadel, I want to thank the City of Tallahassee and Florida State University for their gracious hospitality this past weekend. We were treated with dignity and respect during our short time in the area. It is this same dignity and respect we expect of our cadets on a daily basis at our small military college.

“I also want to apologize for the comments one of our linemen made after the game regarding the injuries sustained by Florida State players. We watched the game film to confirm there was no malice or illegal blocks by our team that could have contributed to these injuries. Thankfully, there were none. However, it still does not excuse the poor judgment our player showed on social media. His comments do not reflect The Citadel core values of Honor, Duty and Respect we expect of our cadets and students.

“I know a great deal of hard work, teamwork and dedication went in to earning that national championship. We feel that same pride in our institution and our mission here at The Citadel to educate and develop principled leaders for all walks of life. Just as Florida State was No. 1 in the nation in football, The Citadel has been U.S. News & World Report’s No. 1 public college in the South among our peers for four years in a row, in part due to our 62 percent four-year graduation rate. “The Citadel wishes Florida State University the best of luck this season, both on and off the field.”

Lt. Col. Brian D. Kerns, Romeo ’92

September 10, 2014

Lt. Col. Brian D. Kerns, professor of military science and commanding officer of Old Dominion University’s Army ROTC unit, died Thursday, Sept. 4 at Sentara Heart Hospital in Norfolk. He was 43.

Kerns, who commanded the ODU Army ROTC since 2011, suffered a heart attack shortly after completing personal training with his cadets on August 27. Kerns is survived by his wife Lisa and son Ethan, 3.

“Brian was the epitome of an Army officer,” said RADM (ret.) David Architzel, Old Dominion University Director of Military Affairs. “He cared deeply for all those who served under him and would do anything for them. Most importantly, he was a loving husband and father to Lisa and Ethan. Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire Army family tonight.”

Kerns’ military career began in August, 1992, when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant from The Citadel.

A native of Virginia, Kerns earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from The Citadel, and a master’s degree in military history from the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. His Army schools included the Armor Basic Course, Dismounted Armored Scout Course, Scout Platoon Leaders Course, Infantry Captain’s Career Course and the Command and General Staff College.

His active duty assignments included Anti-Armor Platoon Leader, Scout Platoon Leader, Troop Executive Officer and Assistant Squadron S3, 1st Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Polk, La.; assistant Operations Officer, HQ, 3d Infantry Division; Battalion Maintenance Officer and Tank Company Commander, 1st BN, 64th Armor Regiment at Fort Stewart, Ga.; Cavalry Team Chief and Trainer, 48th Infantry Brigade, Macon, Ga.; Squadron Operations Officer and Executive Officer, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment; and Chief of Operations and Brigade Executive Officer, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Throughout his military career, Kerns served in increasingly challenging assignments in support of Army operations, including Operation Uphold Democracy, Operation Desert Thunder, SFOR Bosnia and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His military awards included the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and the Combat Action Badge.

Funeral arrangements are pending. In addition, a memorial service will be held on campus, and details will be announced at a future date. In recognition of Kerns’s service and sacrifice, all ODU flags on all campuses will be lowered to half-staff through Thursday, Sept. 9.

Citadel alumnus and astronaut to Command as aquanaut from under the sea

September 10, 2014
Col. Randy Bresnik is the first astronaut to become an aquanaut

Col. Randy Bresnik is the first astronaut to become an aquanaut

Opportunities for community and classrooms to watch mission live

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Citadel graduate and NASA astronaut Col. Randy Bresnik, USMC, Class of 1989, who took the college to new heights with his November 2009 voyage into space aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, is in the news again. This time Bresnik will command a seven-day mission to the bottom of the ocean as part of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO). “Splashdown” is Sunday, Sept. 7. The team will conduct activities on the ocean floor that will inform future International Space Station and exploration activities.

“I’ll be wearing a Citadel shirt periodically throughout the week while on Aquarius. It’s exciting to know that teachers and their students from around the Lowcountry and beyond can watch what we are doing on our live feed and learn more about how we will transfer lessons from under the sea for use in space exploration,” said Bresnik.

The NEEMO crew will stay 62 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, 5.4 nautical miles off the coast of Key Largo, Fla., in Florida International University’s undersea research habitat Aquarius Reef Base, along with two professional habitat technicians.

For seven days, the team will be focused on the evaluation of telementoring operations with the European Space Agency. Telementoring consists of a crew member being given instruction for a task by an expert who is located remotely but is virtually present via a video and voice connection. The studies will provide information that correlates directly to life aboard the space station, where crew members must frequently perform critical tasks that present constraining factors similar to those experienced in an undersea environment.
•Teachers, your class can view the mission live from 8 a.m. – 9p.m. each day from Teens4Oceans and scrolling down HERE.
•Follow Bresnik and the crew during the mission on Facebook HERE or Twitter HERE.
•Watch a video explaining the mission HERE.
•Read more about Bresnik and the NEEMO 19 crew HERE.

•Media needing more information access to satellite feeds or interviews should contact William Jeffs of NASA at William.p.jeffs@nasa.gov

Steelers, CB Cortez Allen, agree to four-year, $26M extension

September 9, 2014
#28 Cortez Allen is in the Steelers long term plan.

#28 Cortez Allen is in the Steelers long term plan.

by Jason La Canfora
CBS Sports NFL Insider

September 6, 2014 8:18 pm ET

The Steelers and cornerback Cortez Allen have agreeed to a four-year contract extension worth $26 million, league sources said.

Allen was set to be a free agent at season’s end and was a priority for the Steelers to re-sign. By pushing Ben Roethlisberger’s contract back to 2015, Pittsburgh was able to use its remaining cap space to extend Marcus Gilbert, Shaun Suisham and Allen — core young players. Allen’s extension kicks in after the 2014 season.

Allen is set to be the top corner on the team with Ike Taylor nearing the end of his career

US News & World Report ranks The Citadel No. 1 for the FOURTH Straight Year

September 9, 2014

Lgate

9 Sep 2014

CHARLESTON, S.C. – When it comes to a getting a great education and the best value from a college with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, The Citadel once again ranks in the top slot in the South for its category, according to U.S. News & World Report. The global news publisher released its 2015 Best Colleges rankings report today.

Highlights of The Citadel’s 2015 U.S. News and World Report rankings include:
No. 1 Public College in the South (offering up to a master’s degree)
• Citadel’s overall score of 88 is the highest nationally for all public colleges in The Citadel’s category.
• Citadel’s average alumni giving rate of 27 is the highest nationally for all college, both public and private, in The Citadel’s category.
No. 15 “Best Value” Among Public Colleges in the South in The Citadel’s category.
No. 23 Undergraduate Engineering Program at schools without a doctoral program in The Citadel’s category.
“This recognition affirms the commitment made by our dedicated faculty, staff, alumni, and donors who believe in our mission to educate and develop principled leaders for all walks of life,” said Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, president of The Citadel. “I am pleased that our values-based education is resonating with so many families across the nation.”

The Citadel was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 Best Public University in the South offering up to a Master’s Degree in its 2012, 2013 and 2014 guides, which also included other rankings for the college similar to the ones announced today. Some of the factors considered by U.S. News & World Report for the 2015 rankings included (with The Citadel’s percentage in parentheses):
• Average retention rate (83)
• Percentage of classes numbering less than 20 students (37)
• Student/faculty ratio (14:1)
• Average alumni giving rate (27 percent)

“We take great pride in the academic achievements of our students and the accomplishments of our graduates,” said Citadel Provost and Brigadier General Samuel Hines, Jr., Ph.D. “As alumni they have given us the highest level of support among public master’s level colleges and universities. We are extremely pleased that US News & World Report recognizes the quality of our educational experience provided by our distinguished faculty and dedicated staff and has ranked us so favorably in their survey.”

All rankings are available at http://www.usnews.com