EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE Athletics enjoyed a banner year with a top 100 performance in the Learfield Directors' Cup final standings.
SIUE recorded a 94th place finish in the standings and fared better than any other Ohio Valley Conference, Missouri Valley Conference or Southern Conference institution, the three conferences in which the Cougars competed during the 2016-17 athletic year.
"We are very proud of our finish in the Learfield Directors' Cup," said SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt. "Not only did these teams play at a high level, they excelled against their direct peers as well as several nationally-prominent programs."
As a full-fledged NCAA Division I program since the 2012-13 season, SIUE's 2016-17 season has been outstanding. This is the first time SIUE has finished in the top 100 in the Division I Directors' Cup standings.
"I think it speaks volumes for how effective and efficient our student-athletes, coaching staff and support staff have been," added Hewitt.
The Cougars scored points in five sports – men's soccer, women's soccer, men's indoor track and field, wrestling and women's tennis.
Men's soccer advanced to the Sweet Sixteen nationally after advancing over Michigan State and Butler. Women's soccer was a NCAA second-round participant after knocking out nationally-ranked Notre Dame. Men's indoor track and field and wrestling each walked away with All-Americans. The women's tennis program appeared in the NCAA Championships for the second straight season.
The Learfield 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 in up to 10 men's and 10 women's sports in Division I.
Stanford was the overall winner of the Learfield Directors' Cup.
More interesting facts on SIUE's finish in the Learfield Directors' Cup.
- SIUE is one of seven schools in the Ohio Valley Conference to be ranked in the standings. The next closest to SIUE was Murray State (130th).
- Only Northwestern (36th) and Illinois (38th), of the Big Ten Conference, fared better among institutions in the state of Illinois
- Only three non-football schools finished ahead of SIUE – Denver, Pepperdine and Providence
- The next closest Missouri Valley Conference school to SIUE was former MVC member Wichita State (139th)
- The next closest Southern Conference school to SIUE was Furman (98th)