Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

DU Pioneers take home fifth Directors’ Cup

The University of Denver reclaimed the top spot among NCAA Division I non-football schools by earning its record fifth Learfield Sports I-AAA Directors’ Cup over the last six years. The award was presented to Peg Bradley-Doppes, vice chancellor for athletics and recreation and Ritchie Center operations, at the annual National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Convention in Orlando, Fla.

The Pioneers sent eight teams and four individuals from four sports programs to NCAA postseason competition to finish with 425.5 points and rank No. 51 in the nation.

Denver led all Western Athletic Conference schools by more than 260 points, and all Summit League schools by more than 250 points. The Pioneers were behind Brigham Young by 79.5 points, but led all other Mountain Region schools.

Among the I-AAA schools, the Pioneers outdistanced themselves 87.25 points, sitting ahead of Wichita State, which ranks No. 65.

“We are honored to capture our fifth I-AAA Directors’ Cup in the last six years,” Bradley-Doppes said. “We take tremendous pride in the overall athletic and academic success of our athletic program. Winning this trophy is important to us. Representing I-AAA and the Front Range as the top-ranked athletic program 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.”

The Pioneers earned 83 points for their NCAA Final Four appearance in men’s lacrosse, 53 points for women’s lacrosse’s historic run to the NCAA Tournament and 50 points for men’s tennis’ win over Florida in the NCAA Tournament.

Complete standings and the scoring structure can be found on NACDA’s website, DirectorsCup.org.

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 in up to 20 sports — 10 women’s and 10 men’s.

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