Athletics

Jeffs Finish Fourth in Directors' Cup Standings

Contact: Ben Badua

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AMHERST, Mass. - Following one of the most successful years in the school's athletics history, Amherst College finished fourth in the final Division III Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings with a school-record 950.75 points.

Surpassing its previous high of 910 points (2008-09), Amherst finished behind Middlebury College (1,040.75), Washington University in St. Louis (980.25) and Williams College (964.50), with University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (815.50) rounding out the top five.

Notching it’s first-ever Directors’ Cup win, Middlebury ended Williams’ streak of 13 consecutive Learfield crowns as the Ephs failed to gain the top slot for just the second time in the award’s 17-year history. It was another exceptional showing for the NESCAC, as Tufts (7th, 724.75) and Bowdoin (16th, 594) also cracked the top 20.

This marks the sixth consecutive top-four finish for Amherst, which captured a school-record eight NESCAC titles and had 16 teams (10 women’s, 6 men’s) advance to NCAA Championship play.

Amherst got off to an incredible start by earning 264 points in the fall, good enough for third place in the Directors' Cup standings. The women’s soccer and field hockey teams led the way by combining for 143 points and advancing to the national quarterfinals, while men’s soccer added 64 points with an appearance in the sectional semifinals. Women’s cross country rounded out the scoring teams with 57 points thanks to an 11th-place finish at the national meet.

The winter season proved to be even more successful, as Amherst gained ground in the standings by leading all of Division III with 390.75 points. Men’s ice hockey and women’s basketball led the charge with 83 points apiece as national semifinalists, while the men’s and women’s swimming teams added 72.75 and 63 points, respectively. Men’s basketball recorded 64 points and women’s ice hockey added 25, as Amherst was the only school in Division III to receive points from both basketball and both hockey teams.

The Lord Jeffs continued to excel in the spring, with the men's and women's tennis teams combining for 156 points thanks to two more top-five performances. Women’s track & field upped the tally with 57 points by placing 17th at the outdoor meet, while women’s lacrosse scored 53 points with a ninth-place finish. Softball chipped in with 50 points after earning its first NCAA tournament berth since 1999, while men’s track & field closed out Amherst’s scoring with five points for its showing at the NCAA Championships.

This is the 13th time in the past 17 years Amherst has finished in the top 10 in the Directors' Cup standings. The Lord Jeffs ranked in the top five only once and had never earned 700 points in the award's first 11 years, but they have surpassed 800 in six consecutive years.

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 at the NCAA Championships in up to 18 sports—nine men’s and nine women’s.

To view complete standings and learn about the scoring structure, visit the NACDA website.

Final Directors' Cup Standings
1. Middlebury College (1,040.75)
2. Washington-St. Louis (980.25)
3. Williams College (964.50)
4. Amherst College (950.75)
5. Wisconsin-Whitewater (815.50)

Amherst Scoring
Men's Ice Hockey (83 pts - 3rd place)
Women's Basketball (83 pts - 4th place)
Women's Tennis (83 pts - 4h place)
Men's Tennis (73 pts - 5th place)
Women's Soccer (73 points - 5th place)
Men's Swimming & Diving (72.75 - 6th place)
Field Hockey (70 points - 5th place)
Men's Soccer (64 points - 9th place)
Men's Basketball (64 pts - 9th place)
Women's Swimming & Diving (63 pts - 13th place)
Women's Cross Country (57 pts - 11th place)
Women's Track & Field (57 pts - 17th place)
Women's Lacrosse (53 pts - 9th place)
Softball (50 pts - 25th place)
Men's Track & Field (5 pts - T68th place)

*The women's hockey team's 5th-place showing (25 pts) at the NCAA Championship is not included because only nine men's teams and nine women's teams are allowed to factor into the scoring.