ASU Athletics finished 12th in the Learfield Sports Director's Cup
June 29, 2009
NACDA Site - Final Rankings
TEMPE, Ariz. - With eight teams finishing among the Top 5 in the nation, including the national champion women's golf program and third-place finishers baseball and women's track & field, Arizona State University has placed 12th overall in the final standings of the Learfield Sports Director's Cup, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced Monday. Fifteen of ASU's teams scored points toward the Cup with is given annually to the top all-around athletic department in the nation.
Stanford won the Cup this year with 1,455.00 points and was followed in the Top 5 by North Carolina (1,184.25), Florida (1,172.75), USC (1,137.75) and Michigan (1,131.80). The Sun Devils scored 1,001.75 points to finish 12th overall nationally and fifth among Pac-10 Conference schools with California (seventh at 1,072) and Washington (11th at 1,010.25) finishing ahead of ASU. In all, eight of the Pac-10 schools finished ranked in the Top 25.
The women's golf team led the way for the department in 2008-09 as they won the national title and collected 100 points. With two championship meets, the men's and women's track & field program scored big points in the standings as the women tallied 160 points (75 indoors for fifth place and 85 outdoors for third) while the men chipped in 144 points (73.5 indoors for fifth place and 70.5 outdoors for eighth place). Add in the women's cross country team's 48 points for a 14th-place showing and the program as a whole accounted for 352 points this year.
With cross country as the lone point scorer in the fall, ASU sat tied for 126th place with 48 points before scoring 384.5 points in the winter to climb up to 24th. In the winter, both track squads and women's basketball (73 points) all finished fifth nationally to lead the way with men's basketball (50 points) and wrestling (53.5) also earning Top 20 finishes, ending their seasons 17th and 20th, respectively. Women's gymnastics scored 46.5 points after finishing 25th nationally with the men's swimming & diving program placing 31st overall to add 43 points.
In the spring, seven of ASU's eight teams scored points with six of those teams finishing in the Top 8. Along with women's golf (first), women's track and field (third) and men's track and field (eighth), three others scored big points with their Top 5 placements. The baseball team took third in Omaha to score 83 points while softball (78 points) and men's golf (72.75) both finished fifth. The final team to score in the spring was the women's tennis team who tallied 50 points after finishing 17th nationally.
Overall, the 1,001.75 points scored by the Sun Devils stands as the third-highest point total accumulated in department history while the 12th-place finish ties for the seventh-best all-time. The point total also gives ASU over 1,000 points in each of the last three seasons with the 2008 total of 1,146 (fourth) and the 2007 total of 1,005 (10th) standing as the Top 2 scores recorded.
The Cup, which has carried the names of several different sponsors, was started in the early 1970's by the Knoxville Journal with the newspaper awarding points based upon finishes in the national meets and tallying three standings: men, women and combined. Under that format, ASU climbed its way into the Top 5 on several occasions as a combined program, finishing second in 1981 after placing third in 1976, 1977 and 1978. When USA Today took over compiling the numbers in the late 1980's, the Sun Devils finished in the Top 10 on several occasions as a combined program with their highest finish coming in 1990 when they finished fourth after the men were fourth and women fifth in their separate divisions.