Sept. 30, 2005
NEW YORK, N.Y. - In what is shaping up to become one of the most successful intercollegiate fall sports seasons in recent memory, the Santa Clara University athletics program received recognition from Sports Illustrated Magazine as one of the top-20 schools in the country in its fall all-sports rankings.
The rankings, which appeared on the magazine's On Campus edition on Wednesday, were compiled from each of the fall sports and took into account the schools that are having the most success during the first few weeks of the season. The magazine admits that increased weight is provided to those schools that play football.
Santa Clara was ranked 19th among the 25 schools listed and was the only Division IAAA (non-football) institution to make the rankings. In addition, SCU's fall sports teams have defeated five of the schools that are ranked in the top-25 and tied a fifth: Notre Dame (#1), women's soccer; California (#4), women's soccer; Wake Forest (#5) women's soccer - tie; Stanford (#8), men's soccer; Arizona State (#18), women's soccer; and UCLA (#23), men's soccer. Other noteworthy victories have come against opponents such as Arizona, Fresno State, Georgetown, Pacific, Saint Louis, San Jose State, UC Santa Barbara and Virginia Tech.
"Our sports teams have had such a tremendous fall season thus far and it is really a great honor to be recognized by Sports Illustrated," said SCU's director of athletics Dan Coonan. "Every sport that has competed this fall has had some type of noteworthy achievement and three of our six teams in season are ranking among the top-15 nationally. With the recent resurgence in school spirit on campus, it is great to be able to give our students and fans winning programs to support."
Santa Clara has a history of success in conference and national competition over the years. The men's soccer program claimed the 1989 co-national title, along with the University of Virginia and went to the College Cup as recently as 2003. The 2001 women's team won its first national title and has a current streak of 16-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and has made 10 trips to the College Cup.
The Bronco volleyball team has advanced to the NCAA Tournament seven straight years and annually ranks among the top-20 nationally. In basketball, former Bronco star Steve Nash was named the Most Valuable Player in the National Basketball Association (NBA) last season. In baseball, the school opened the new $8.6 million Stephen Schott Stadium last April.
"We have a great tradition of success here at Santa Clara and a track record for strong athletic and academic success of our student-athletes," said Coonan, who leads a department that has ranked second among all Division I institutions on the West Coast in graduations rates for the last few years.