4/4/2013 ASHLAND, Ohio - For the first time in school history, Ashland University is ranked first in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings.
After the completion of six winter championships, the Eagles lead the nation with 589 points. AU won a national championship in women’s basketball, was second in men’s track and field, fifth in women’s track and field, 12th in women’s swimming and diving, 15th in wrestling and 22nd in men’s swimming and diving.
“I think this is an amazing accomplishment,” said AU director of athletics Bill Goldring. “We have dedicated ourselves to being a broad-based program of excellence and this ranking affirms that our system is working. I am extremely proud of our coaches, staff and especially our student-athletes and their success on and off the fields and courts. Everybody has worked extremely hard and it’s great to be rewarded this way.”
Grand Valley State, which was first in the standings, is second with 558.5 points. That means that the two top institutions in the country are from the GLIAC. The only other conference with two schools in the Top 10 is the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Colorado School of Mines is fourth with 446 points and Adams State is fifth with 440.5 points.
The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish up to 14 sports – seven women’s and seven men’s.
AU was third in the final standings a year ago and has been a regular in the nation’s Top 10. The Cup has been awarded every year since 1995-96. Ashland is the only Ohio school, in any division, to be ranked first.
“Ashland University has always had a great tradition of athletics and I’m proud that we can build on that legacy in such a large number of areas,” Goldring said. “It’s especially rewarding that we won a national championship in women’s basketball as we had never won a national championship since we became an NCAA Division II institution. This will be the sixth consecutive year that our athletic department is ranked among the Top 10 nationally among the 315 Division II institutions. It’s not a one-time occurrence.”
The winter season also saw Kari Daugherty (Fresno, Ohio/Dayton) receive the NCAA Division II player of the year award for the second consecutive year. Track and field’s Drew Windle (New Albany, Ohio) was honored as the men’s indoor track and field athlete of the year. In the winter sports season, 27 AU student-athletes were recognized as All-Americans.
2012-13 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup
Division II Winter Standings - As of April 4, 2013
Rank Institution Conference Points
1 ASHLAND GLIAC 589.00
2 Grand Valley State GLIAC 558.50
3 Grand Canyon Pacific West 531.50
4 Colorado School of Mines RMAC 446.00
5 Adams State RMAC 440.50
6 Minn. State-Mankato NSIC 434.00
7 Shippensburg PSAC 416.50
8 Indianapolis GLVC 371.00
9 Augustana NSIC 370.00
10 Tampa Sunshine State 361.00
Ashland’s Final Learfield Cup Finishes – Last Five Years
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###