Stanford Athletics has claimed its 17th consecutive Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, an award that is presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Learfield Sports and USA Today to the top intercollegiate athletic program in the nation.
After claiming national championships this year in the sports of men’s gymnastics, women’s water polo and women’s lightweight crew-varsity eight, Stanford has won at least one NCAA team title for 35 consecutive years. The national title won by men’s gymnastics was particularly significant, as it marked Stanford’s 100th NCAA team championship. Three other Stanford teams — women’s soccer, women’s tennis and women’s rowing — placed second in NCAA championship competition.
Eighteen of Stanford’s 35 intercollegiate programs finished their respective seasons ranked in the top 10 nationally, while eight teams were ranked first in the nation at some point during the year. In addition, four Stanford student-athletes — CHRISTEN PRESS (women’s soccer), ANNIKA DRIES (women’s water polo), ASHLEY HANSEN (softball) and ALIX KLINEMAN (women’s volleyball) — earned national player of the year honors in their respective sports. HILARY BARTE and MALLORY BURDETTE were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association Doubles Team of the Year, while OWEN MARECIC was named the inaugural recipient of the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in college football.
Three Stanford coaches — TARA VANDERVEER (women’s basketball), THOM GLIEMI (men’s gymnastics) and AL ACOSTA (women’s lightweight rowing) — were named national coaches of the year, while seven Cardinal coaches earned conference/region coach of the year honors.
Stanford’s student-athletes also continue to display an unwavering commitment to academic excellence; this year 20 Stanford student-athletes earned Academic All-America status as recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between NACDA and USA Today in 1993-94 to honor universities that strive for success in all of their sports programs. The awards program was expanded in 1995-96 to include NCAA Divisions II and III and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Each institution is awarded points based on its finish in 20 sports, 10 each for men and women.
Read the full announcement on the Athletics website.Tags: Al Acosta, Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, Stanford Athletics, Stanford Women's Basketball, Tara VanDerveer, Thom Gliemi