July 1, 2009
The Rice Owls capped an outstanding year of athletic competition by finishing 64th in final standings for the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, which is presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Learfield Sports and USA Today to the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country in NCAA Divisions I, II, and III and the NAIA.
Final results were announced earlier this week at NACDA's 44th Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.
"We are thrilled to see our continued success in the Director's Cup standings," Rice Director of Athletics Chris Del Conte said. "This is a tremendous indicator of the progress our student-athletes are making across the board. Combined with the tremendous success our men and women have enjoyed in the classroom, Rice Athletics has enjoyed a banner year. Everyone associated with this university should take great pride in their achievements," he added.
The Owls' finish was their best in the final standings since the 2001-02 school year when they finished 55th. Rice scored a total of 326 points, its highest point total ever, earning points in football, volleyball, women's cross country, baseball, men's tennis and men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field.
For a full breakdown of the Director's Cup scoring system, please visit the award's web site.
They ranked second among Conference USA schools in the rankings, trailing only Tulsa, which finished 61st. Here's the full list of where C-USA schools finished in the 2008-09 final standings: 61, Tulsa; 64, Rice; 87, SMU; 90, UCF; 111, Memphis; 126, ECU; 128, Houston; 137, USM; 149, Tulane; 170, UTEP; 200, UAB.
Over the past three seasons, Rice has risen from 102nd (2006-07) to 88th (2007-08) to 64th in the Director's Cup standings.
Stanford University captured its 15th consecutive Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, tallying 1455.00 points. The other winning institutions were Grand Valley State (Mich.) in Division II, Williams (Mass.) in Division III and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) in the NAIA.