Arkansas Student-Athletes Set Program Record
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas earned a program record 16th-place finish in the 2014-15 Learfield Sports Directors Cup Standings released on Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA). The Directors Cup is a competition that tracks the nation’s most successful intercollegiate athletics programs for their performances throughout the year.
Arkansas finished the academic year with a program record 912.5 points, besting the previous point total of 830 in 2012-13 by more than 82 points. The 16th-place ranking was the best national finish since the current scoring format was adopted. Of the top-15 teams in the standings, 12 have 20 or more sports in their programs. Arkansas sponsors 19 varsity sports, 16 of those programs contributed to the record-breaking point total, eclipsing the previous record of 15 teams in 2007-08.
The Razorbacks ranked fourth among Southeastern Conference programs. A total of seven SEC programs ranked in the top 25 of the final standings. Arkansas is the only Division I school in the nation this year to have won a bowl game, games in both the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments and an NCAA Baseball Regional.
“What an extraordinary year for Razorback Athletics,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “Thanks to the outstanding achievements of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, we have enjoyed the most successful year in the history of our program both in the classroom and in athletic competition. Back in 2009, we set an ambitious goal for our program to finish in the top 20 nationally and the top five of the SEC in the Directors Cup by 2015. Today, thanks to the loyal support of our University, our Razorback Foundation members and our fans, we have met that goal with a record-breaking performance. Now, we will continue to set our sights even higher as we represent our outstanding institution, our state and Razorbacks everywhere.”
Arkansas’ spring sports once again helped the program finish with a flourish racking up 342 points. The Razorback baseball team earned 73 points and its way to the College World for the third time in the past seven seasons after winning a regional at Oklahoma State and a Super Regional at home against Missouri State at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks picked up 85 points after the men’s track and field team earned a third-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. Arkansas has now posted top-10 national outdoor track and field finishes in five-consecutive years.
Arkansas tallied another 80 points with a fourth-place finish by the women’s track and field team at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Arkansas’ team finish represented the best finish in program history at the outdoor national meet and its seventh top-10 finish overall. Arkansas was the only women’s track and field program to earn top-five national finishes in the cross country, indoor and outdoor seasons.
The Razorbacks earned 69 points in women’s golf thanks to a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championship. Arkansas was led by junior Gabriela Lopez who finished tied for the national runner-up in individual stroke play.
Arkansas added 25 points for its NCAA Tournament appearance in women’s tennis. Coach Michael Hegarty led the Razorback women’s tennis team to the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in school history.
The Razorback gymnastics team earned 52.5 points for earning a spot in the NCAA Morgantown Regional. The 2015 season saw the Razorbacks reach the NCAA Regionals for the 12th-straight year.
Arkansas earned 50 points for both men’s and women’s basketball after both programs qualified for postseason and won their initial games. Coach Mike Anderson led the Hogs to 27 wins, including 13 conference victories. The men’s team returned to the NCAA Basketball Tournament for the first time since 2008, advancing to the second round. Arkansas also advanced to the SEC Tournament Championship Game for the sixth time in school history and the first time since 2008.
Coach Jimmy Dykes led the women’s basketball program to 18 wins and a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013. Arkansas won its first-round game against Northwestern in the NCAA Tournament. The Razorbacks also advanced to the third round of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
The women’s swimming and diving team earned 17 points for its postseason performance at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Coach Sean Schimmel’s squad earned a 44th place finish at the national meet, the best national team finish for the Razorbacks since 2012.
Arkansas picked up 100 points for its first national championship captured by the Razorback women’s indoor track and field team in Fayetteville in March. Coach Lance Harter led his team to a resounding win and in the process provided the Razorback program its first national championship in any women’s sport. The national title was the 44th in school history, joining one in football, one in men’s basketball and 41 in men’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field.
The Razorback men’s track and field team earned 85 points for a third-place national finish at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center. With the finish, the Razorback men’s indoor track team has tallied a top-three NCAA indoor finish in four-consecutive years, including a team title in 2013.
Arkansas earned a total of 216 points based on fall sports’ finishes. The Razorbacks racked up 121 points based on the national finishes of the men’s and women’s cross country teams. The women’s cross country team tallied 75 points after earning a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
The men’s cross country team earned 46 points after finishing 28th in the nation at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. In addition, both the men’s and women’s cross country teams won their respective SEC championships for the second straight year.
Arkansas added another 45 points to its total after a strong finish by the Razorback football team. Arkansas finished the 2014 season with a 7-6 record, including wins in three of its last four games. The Razorbacks capped the season with a resounding 31-7 win over Texas in the 2014 Advocare V100 Texas Bowl.
The Razorback soccer team made a postseason run in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. Arkansas defeated Oklahoma 3-2 in overtime in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling at No. 3 Stanford, 1-0, in the second round of the draw. Arkansas earned 50 points in the Directors’ Cup for its 2014 performance.
Arkansas has now earned a spot among the nation’s top 30 programs in seven of the past eight years. Arkansas improved 16 spots in the final standings in 2014-15 after finishing 28th nationally in the 2013-14 standings. In addition to last year’s 28th-place overall finish, the Razorbacks recorded Top-30 finishes in in 2007-08 (24th), 2008-09 (25th), 2010-11 (24th), 2011-12 (20th) and 2012-13 (21st).
The Directors’ Cup program has been tracking the success of the nation’s top intercollegiate athletics programs since 1993-94.
For more information regarding Razorback Athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.