WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup in NCAA Division III will be staying on U.S. Route 7 for another year, but the 2013 Cup will reside about 100 miles south of the Middlebury [VT] College campus on the campus of Williams College.
Only twice in 18 years (1998 & 2012) has the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup escaped the grasp of the Williams College Ephs. Williams finished fourth in 1998 when UC San Diego (now a member of the NCAA Division II) won and last year when NESCAC foe Middlebury captured the Cup the Ephs came in third.
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort of the National Association of Collegiate directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today with competition in NCAA Division III beginning with the 1995-96 academic year. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 18 sports (9 men's and 9 women's) in NCAA post-season championship events.
June 14 Williams Athletic Director Lisa Melendy will receive the 2013 Cup at the NACDA Convention in Orlando, Florida. "It is a great honor to once again be awarded the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup," said Melendy. "This award celebrates the culmination of a year's worth of work by our coaches and our athletes, their dedication and pursuit of excellence. What is most pleasing about this award is that it recognizes the collective work that is achieved through the support and assistance that is present throughout our department and the college; the work of the students, coaches, support staff, and administration. I am proud of the work of our student-athletes and my colleagues, and to have Williams' athletics be singled out among all of the wonderful NCAA Division III institutions and athletic programs."
After a fall season in which the Williams scored in four sports (men's & women's cross country and men's and women's soccer) the Ephs found themselves in fifth place with 276.75 points, 31.75 points behind the leader Calvin College (MI).
On the strength of placing five teams in the national top 10 in the winter season the Ephs amassed 509 points and took a 120-point lead over second place and defending champion Middlebury into the spring season.
Tacking a strong spring campaign onto their winter surge, highlighted by winning three NCAA titles (men's tennis, women's tennis and women's crew), the Ephs added 488 points to their fall/winter total of 785.75 to finish with 1,273.75 points.
This year Williams scored in the maximum number of sports 18: 9 men's and 9 women's in racking up their second highest point total as the Ephs set the NCAA Division III Directors' Cup total points record in 2010 when they scored 1,292.
2012-13 marks the eighth consecutive year that the Ephs have won at least one NCAA title and the spring of 2013 is only the second time (2002) Williams has won three NCAA titles in the same academic year and in the spring season.
Thanks to women's crew and women's tennis the Ephs have won at least two NCAA titles in each year the last six consecutive years. Overall the Ephs have now won 30 NCAA titles in nine different sports.
Women's tennis head coach Alison Swain '01 has posted an NCAA Tournament record of 30-0, winning the NCAA championship in each of her first six years as the Ephs' head coach. Williams and Stanford are the only two NCAA schools to win six straight NCAA titles in women's tennis.
In the Ephs' 8-year run of NCAA Division III rowing titles for women Williams has won the title under the direction of four different head coaches. The eight straight NCAA titles is the longest streak in all of NCAA rowing. Current women's crew head coach Kate Maloney has won the NCAA title her first two years.
Dan Greenberg '08 led the Ephs to their first men's tennis title since 2002 and it was also the first men's NCAA title won by the Ephs since 2003 (basketball).
Winning three NCAA Championships, placing nine teams in the national top 5 and a total of 12 teams in the national top 10, lifted the Ephs to the top spot in the standings above the 300+ NCAA Division III teams scoring in this year's Directors' Cup competition.
Eph 2012-13 National Top 10 Finishes:
Women's Crew - 1 st
Men's Tennis – 1st
Women's Tennis – 1st
Men's Soccer – 3rd
Women's Basketball – 3rd
Women's Cross Country – 4th
Women's Swimming & Diving – 4th
Men's Basketball – 5th
Women's Golf – 5th
Women's Indoor Track & Field – 7th
Men's Swimming & Diving – 8th
Women's Outdoor Track & Field – 10th
Between Williams and Middlebury, NESCAC has won 17 of the 18 Directors' Cups to date. This year the NESCAC placed four teams in the top ten: Williams (1), Middlebury (3), Amherst (6) and Tufts (8).
Williams won the first Directors' Cup in NCAA Division III (1996), was the first school to win back-to-back Cups (1996 & 1997), first to re-gain the Cup (1999) and the Ephs own the longest win streak in Cup history (13 years: 1999-2011). Additionally, the Ephs have recorded the highest point total – 1,292 (2010) – in the Cup's 18-year NCAA Division III history.
2013 NCAA Division III
1. Williams – 1,273.75
2. Emory – 986.50
3. Middlebury – 941.75
4. Wisconsin- Whitewater – 895.00
5. Washington U. (MO) – 859.50
6. Amherst – 802.50
7. Johns Hopkins – 789.50
8. Tufts – 752.00
9. St. Thomas (MN) – 742.00
10. MIT – 725.75
FB: Williams College Athletics