Accounting Students’ Success Measured in Twos

Accounting Students’ Success Measured in Twos

Twin brothers Luke (left) and Tyler Cotter with Amy Troutman, director of the Professional Program in Accounting

Last semester, 50 UT Dallas students managed not only to get top grades but also to maintain the heavy extracurricular commitment of participating in intercollegiate sports. Those athletes, including 13 from the Naveen Jindal School of Management, were named to the American Southwest Conference Academic All-ASC Teams for the league’s fall 2014 sports.

A tiny subset of that group — two to be exact — are brothers who are soccer teammates on the Comets enrolled in JSOM’s Professional Program in Accounting as well as members of the Davidson Management Honors Program.

Tyler and Luke Cotter, New Mexico natives who have played soccer “since we could walk,” exercised the same analytical skills in high school to select a university as they use in academics and on the soccer field.

“When we began looking at schools, we knew that we were going to do something in business, specifically accounting. We also knew that we wanted to play soccer,” says Luke, who, like his twin brother, is a junior. “But definitely we were always investigating the offers … we received. In order of importance: The school had to be strong academically, fairly priced and have a strong men’s soccer team.

“The (NCAA Division 1 and Division 2) schools we were looking at failed to meet either all or some of the requirements,” Luke says. The ASC is the NCAA Division 3 conference in which UT Dallas Comets compete. “Because of an interesting situation of where our father works, my twin and I could get in-state tuition at all UT System schools. When looking at them, it took us probably less than 30 seconds to make UT Dallas our first choice.”

The young men are pursuing accounting for several reasons: They both say they like the respect certified public accountants hold in the business community and the degree’s flexibility. “Once we started taking accounting classes, it just confirmed our desires because we found the material interesting,” Luke says.

“A CPA shows a certain level of competency and legally gives you the ability to do things that many people don’t have the authority to do,” Tyler says. “I also really love doing puzzles, and most problems in accounting are different kinds of puzzles, where you either have to piece it all together, or create something that has to fit certain parameters.”

“They’re the whole package,” says Amy Troutman, director of the selective Professional Program in Accounting, which allows accounting students to fast-track their BS and MS accounting degrees. The program also offers professional and career benefits to participants. “They are motivated and gracious and accomplished,” Troutman says. ”They have a great future, wherever that may be.”

The JSOM students named to All-ASC Teams are:


Eliza Carey, Accounting, women’s soccer
Luke Cotter, Accounting, men’s soccer
Tyler Cotter, Accounting, men’s soccer
Meredith Crawford, Marketing, volleyball
Kelsey Morrison, Marketing, volleyball


Brian Childs, Finance/Econ (double major), men’s soccer
Omar Jaroun, Finance, men’s soccer
Michael Matthews, Business Administration, men’s soccer
Travis White, Accounting, men’s soccer
Jasmine Chipps, Business Administration/Marketing (double major), women’s soccer
Nicole Frank, Business Administration, women’s soccer


Steven Baxter, MBA, men’s cross country
Zack Hansen, MS/Accounting, men’s soccer

More than 350 student athletes from ASC’s 12 member institutions were recognized by the American Southwest Conference. To be eligible for ASC All-Academic honors, student-athletes must be classified academically as a sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student during the competition season and have been in attendance and completed at least one academic year (two consecutive semesters) at their institution. They must also have a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average as certified at the conclusion of the academic semester in which the ASC sport championship is held.