Academic success has always been important to Florida State golfer Kayla Bloor. When she arrived at FSU in the fall of 2013 she was technically a sophomore because of 34 college level credits she earned in high school through Advanced Placement (AP) classes and an exceedingly high ACT score. Bloor’s academic success prior to her enrolling at Florida State allowed her to gain exemptions from a number of entry level classes during her freshman year.
It also allowed her to be accepted into her intended major program – sport management – during the spring of her first year. She was able to begin taking core classes in sport management as a sophomore.
“Academic success has always been a priority in my family,” Bloor said. “Getting A’s in class was not encouraged, it was expected. I’ve always made sure that academics have been a priority; I’m a student first and an athlete second. Throughout my career at Florida State, I spent countless hours in the academic offices making sure I had completed all of my assignments correctly and that I was properly prepared for all of my tests.”
Bloor’s preparation has certainly paid off as she received her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in only three years. With her degree in hand, she will transfer to the University of Southern Mississippi for graduate school and her final years of eligibility.
“Kayla exemplifies what we look for in a student-athlete when we recruit them to play golf at Florida State,” head coach Amy Bond said. “You could tell right away when I first began recruiting her that she would be a great fit for our program. Kayla is a driven, goal-oriented person who sets her sights on achieving greatness and then goes about earning greatness. She has been that way during her entire career as a Seminole.”
Bloor’s academic success has allowed her to be a standout academic achiever on a team that sets the academic achievement standard at Florida State.
The Seminole women’s golf team is annually recognized as one of the top academic achievers among the Seminoles’ 20 athletic programs. In 2014, Bloor and six of her teammates were named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll; in 2015 a near record 10 Seminoles (including Bloor) were named to the ACC Honor Roll. Bloor’s graduation in 2016 allows the Seminoles to continue a tradition of having each one of their players earn degrees.
For the seventh consecutive year, the Florida State women’s golf team was recognized with a perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) score for the 2014-15 school year by the NCAA. FSU has been recognized for its outstanding academic achievement each year since 2009, and each of the first six years of Head Coach Amy Bond’s coaching tenure at her alma mater. The Academic Progress Rate, which was developed in 2003, holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete for each academic term.
“Every player on our team is constantly pushing each other to be better – better in school, in life and on the golf course,” Bloor said. “Having teammates that congratulate you on your successes as well as encourage you when you might feel overwhelmed is vital to the success of our program.”
Bloor’s penchant for academic success begins and ends with her family. Born in Alaska as the daughter of Chief Master Sargeant (USAF, Retired) Roger and Kathy Bloor, she learned from an early age that education was going to be at the forefront of her upbringing.
“My parents were always there to help me achieve academically,” Bloor said. “They fostered a positive learning environment and encouraged me to think critically when completing my assignments. They continue to this day to cheer me on for all of my accomplishments and I am so thankful to have parents that care as much as they do.”
Kayla isn’t the only Bloor daughter achieving academically at great heights at Florida State.
Her older sister, Erica, paved the way for her academic success as a Seminole. She has already earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and is currently pursuing her PhD in astrophysics.
“Erica’s hard work and determination made me strive to reach the same level she has achieved academically,” Bloor.
Bloor’s determination on the golf course has mirrored her determination in the classroom. After not playing in any events during her freshman and sophomore seasons, she has helped the Seminoles enjoy one of the best seasons in school history this year. She earned her way into Florida State’s lineup in the spring season opening Florida Challenge and the Gator Women’s Invitational and played as an individual in the Florida State Match-Up.
With Bloor in the lineup at the Florida Challenge and Gator Invitational, the Seminoles finished in second place in the team standings in both events. She finished a career best-tied for 15th place in the individual standings in the Florida State Match-Up and carded a career-best 72 in the third round of the event.
“I want to continue playing golf at the collegiate level and further my academic career after I receive my degree from Florida State,” Bloor said. “I have confidence that I can compete at this level. So, following this year, I am going to transfer to Southern Miss to play golf and earn my master’s degree in sport management.”
Florida State’s loss is a gain for Southern Miss according to team captain Lydia Gumm.
“Kayla is a great person and I’ve been lucky to be able to call her a teammate,” Gumm said. “She has really worked hard and maintained such a great attitude. Her ability to be so successful in the classroom and compete each day as a member of the golf team is incredible. Kayla has been a great teammate and I am going to miss her.”
By earning her college degree in three years, Bloor has obviously displayed her ability to be successful academically. And if you listen to her coach and her teammates, Bloor has become a successful young woman and a great teammate.
Exactly what you would expect from a student-athlete at Florida State.