Dec. 29, 2005
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Following one of the most successful fall seasons in school history, the Santa Clara University athletic program is ranked eighth in the prestigious U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup standings, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics announced.
Santa Clara compiled 206 points due to its NCAA semifinal appearance in volleyball, quarterfinal appearance in women's soccer and second round qualification in men's soccer. The Broncos are just 7.5 points behind seventh-place North Carolina in the standings.
"What our athletic teams accomplished this fall is nothing short of incredible," said SCU athletic director Dan Coonan. "For Santa Clara to be ranked among the nation's top 10 athletic programs and be compared to institutions with vastly greater resources and tens of million of dollars more funding... well, it's simply a tribute to our outstanding coaches and phenomenal student-athletes."
The University of Notre Dame, which had taken the lead in the last set of standings, increased its margin over 11-time defending champion Stanford University to 73 points.
The Fighting Irish has 355 points from five top 10 finishes - third in men's cross country, fifth in women's soccer, seventh in women's cross country and ninth in men's soccer and women's volleyball.
Stanford remained in second with 282 points. The Cardinal won the national championship in women's cross country, was the runner-up in men's water polo, and placed sixth in men's cross country, 17th in women's volleyball and 33rd in women's soccer. They are followed by Duke, in third with 280 points; Colorado, fourth with 240 points; and Wisconsin, in fifth with 232 points. Penn State is sixth.
Behind Santa Clara, the next-highest Division I-AAA institution is Pepperdine University in 24th place, followed by Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 37th place.
These standings are based upon the completion of women and men's cross country, women's field hockey, Division I-AA football, women and men's soccer, women's volleyball and men's water polo. In addition to Stanford, winning national championships were Wisconsin in men's cross country, Maryland in women's field hockey, Appalachian State (N.C.) in Division I-AA football, Portland in women's soccer, Maryland in men's soccer, Washington in women's volleyball and Southern California in men's water polo.
The U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. The United States Sports Academy, based in Daphne, Alabama, is the program's sponsor. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports - 10 women's and 10 men's.