Photo courtesy: UA Athletics
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - For the third straight year and the fifth time in the past six years, the University of Arkansas has finished in the top 25 of the Learfield Sports Directors Cup, a competition ranking the nation's most successful intercollegiate programs on their athletic performance throughout the year. The Razorbacks finished No. 21 in the final standings released on Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA).
Arkansas accumulated a school record 830 total points to extend the most successful stretch of Directors Cup success in school history. In addition to last year's 20th-place finish, the Razorbacks finished 24th in 2010-11, 25th in 2008-09 and 24th in 2007-08.
Arkansas finished third in the nation among programs with 19 or fewer sports and fifth among programs with 20 or fewer sports.
Arkansas' 830 points eclipsed last year's school record of 811 points and ranked it ahead of nine of the other 13 Southeastern Conference schools in the standings. The Razorbacks also set a program record scoring 460 points in women's sports, including contributions from eight different programs.
"Thanks to the extraordinary success of our more than 460 Razorback student-athletes, the University of Arkansas has once again earned its place among the elite intercollegiate athletic programs in the nation," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "Finishing among the top 25 programs in the Directors Cup is directly attributable to the dedicated efforts of our student-athletes, coaches and staff.
"I am especially proud of the record breaking contributions of our women's sports programs this year. Their success further demonstrates the benefits of a combined program while showcasing the strength of our all sports program. Congratulations to all of our student-athletes and coaches on their accomplishments. And finally, thank you to the Razorback fans for providing their passionate support for what was a successful and memorable 2012-13 competitive year."
Arkansas' spring sports once again vaulted the Razorbacks to another top-25 finish. The Razorbacks earned 385.25 points in the spring. Men's track and field provided a major boost garnering 85 points for a third-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. The women's track and field squad also scored big earning 70.5 points after an eighth-place national finish.
Both the men's and women's golf teams added to the ledger as well. Men's golf tallied 67.5 points for a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Championship. The women's golf team earned 62.25 points after finishing 13th at the NCAA Women's Golf Championship.
For the second-consecutive season, softball added 50 points to Arkansas' total. The softball team advanced to the NCAA Regional final in Norman, Okla., before seeing its season come to an end. Arkansas tallied 50 points from baseball after the Razorbacks secured their 12th straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Arkansas advanced to the final at the NCAA Baseball Regional in Manhattan, Kan., before concluding the 2013 season with a record of 39-22.
The Razorbacks got off to a fast start in the scoring for the winter standings and finished the segment with 296.25 points. The Razorback men's track and field team earned 100 points after capturing the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship at the Randal Tyson Center in Fayetteville. The national title was the 41st in program history, including the 20th NCAA indoor crown. It marked the first national title for men's head coach Chris Bucknam and the first for the Razorbacks since 2006.
Arkansas also picked up 80 points from a fourth-place national finish by its women's team at the NCAA Indoor meet after capturing the SEC title earlier in the month. It marked the second time in the past three years the Razorback women's team has earned a fourth-place national finish indoors.
A sixth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Gymnastics Championship and a 10th place national finish earned 68.25 points for the Razorbacks. Arkansas finished second in its regional, including upsetting regional host Oregon State, to earn a trip to the national meet.
The women's swimming and diving team earned 48 points for a 26th place finish at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship in Indianapolis, Ind. The finish was the seventh-best NCAA finish in school history and the best since Arkansas placed 25th overall in 1990, prior to joining the Southeastern Conference.
The Razorbacks earned 148.5 points in the fall. The men's cross country team won its fifth-consecutive SEC cross country and track title before earning a top-10 finish at the NCAA meet. Arkansas earned 67.5 points for its 10th place finish at the NCAA Championship. The Razorback women's cross country team advanced to the national meet by winning the South Central Regional before finishing 18th at the NCAA Championship. Arkansas earned 56 points for its national finish. A return trip to the NCAA Tournament earned 25 points for volleyball. Arkansas earned its first postseason volleyball bid since 2006 and advanced to regional play in Lawrence, Kan.
The Directors' Cup program has been tracking the success of the nation's top intercollegiate athletics programs since 1993-94.