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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona returns to Director’s Cup top 20

For the first time since 2006, Arizona Athletics will rank among the best in America.

A projection of the Learfield Director’s Cup standings was released on Friday and the Wildcats will find themselves in the top 20 when the final standings are released on June 30. UA has not finished in the top 20 since 2006, when it finished ranked 11th.  

The Learfield Director’s Cup is handed out each year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today. The award recognizes the athletic department that achieves the most athletic success.

“”It’s one measure of our ability to meet goals and it’s nice to be among the nation’s best,”” said UA athletics director Greg Byrne in a statement.

A university can earn points for its 20 best finishes — 10 men’s and 10 women’s — in NCAA-sanctioned championships, or in the case of Division I football, media-based polls.   

Strong finishes by the UA’s men’s basketball and men and women’s swim teams in the winter, along with track and field and softball in the spring, have propelled Arizona toward the top of the standings after the fall season, when the 3UA was ranked 55th.  

The Wildcats currently sit at 17th in the standings, but will have an opportunity to move up to 16th when the points for baseball are added on June 30 after the Men’s College World Series ends.

“”We look at a wide range of accomplishments in determining how we’re doing, and this competitive mark shows we’re working to get better,”” Byrne said.

Stanford has earned enough points to reclaim the Learfield Director’s Cup, even before the addition of points earned by the baseball team. This will be the 17th-straight year that the Cardinal takes home the prize for the most well-rounded athletics department in the country.

The strength of the Pacifc 10 Conference is evident in the new standings. Along with Stanford and Arizona, four other teams are ranked in the top 20: California at fourth, Southern California at 12th, UCLA at 13th and Washington at 20th.

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