Athletics & Recreation / News

DU earns athletic accolades for fourth consecutive year

Mark Matthews helped lead the DU lacrosse team to its first ever NCAA Final Four. The team's performance helped DU win the I-AAA Directors Cup. Photo: Trish Demopoulos

The University of Denver continued its dominance among NCAA Division I non-football schools by earning its fourth consecutive Learfield Sports I-AAA Directors’ Cup.

The Pioneers sent nine teams as well as individuals from three sports programs to NCAA postseason competition to finish with 384.5 points.

DU outdistanced No. 78 UC-Irvine (238 points), No. 81 Iona (231.5 points) and No. 82 Boston University (229 points) to capture its fourth-straight I-AAA trophy. The Pioneers finished No. 54 overall among all Division I schools. DU was the highest ranked Sun Belt Conference and Front Range program for the fourth straight season as well.

“We are honored to capture our fourth consecutive I-AAA Directors Cup,” says Peg Bradley-Doppes, DU’s vice chancellor for athletics and recreation and Ritchie Center operations. “We take great pride in the overall athletic and academic success of our athletic program and winning this trophy annually is important to us. Representing I-AAA, the Sun Belt Conference and the Front Range as the top-ranked athletic program for the fourth straight year is quite an accomplishment. Our coaches, student-athletes and staff share this honor with all of our fans, donors, sponsors and followers of Pioneer athletics.”

DU was best on the Front Range followed by Colorado (No. 66), Air Force (No. 92), Wyoming (No. 138), Colorado State (No. 161) and Northern Colorado (No. 231).

DU was the highest ranked Sun Belt Conference institution, outdistancing No. 103 Middle Tennessee by more than 220 points. Florida International (No. 141), Western Kentucky (No. 157) and Troy (No. 180) rounded out the top five in the conference.

The Pioneers earned 83 points for their historic NCAA Final Four appearance in men’s lacrosse, 75 points for their fifth-place finish in skiing, 60 points for hockey, 52.5 points for gymnastics, 38 for women’s swimming, 36 for women’s golf, 25 for men’s soccer and 15 for men’s golf.

DU has placed No. 65 or better in the Directors Cup for the past four seasons. The Pioneers finished a program-best No. 47 in 2008.

Complete standings and the scoring structure can be found on the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics website.

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