July 21, 2003

Eagles 2nd in Directors' Cup ranks

By John Arenberg

Not everyone can be No. 1. But Emory came awfully close in the past school year—the Univer-sity’s athletics program finished second in the nation for best all-around among Div. III schools.

The ranking was bestowed by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, which every year awards a Directors’ Cup to the best program in each of the NCAA divisions. The rankings are based on points credited to each school for its finishes at the respective NCAA national championships.

Emory finished second nationally among 424 NCAA Div. III schools, marking the fifth time in eight years that the University has finished in the Top 10. Emory has been among the Top 25 nationally every year since the cup was first presented to Div. III schools in 1995.

“This was a fantastic year for our department,” said Emory Athletics Director Chuck Gordon. “Our goal is always to finish in the Top 20, and some years the pieces fall into place for an exceptional finish, one that is indicative of the quality of coaches and student-athletes we are privileged to have at Emory. It also reflects the quality of our program across the board, that we strive to be competitive in all 18 varsity sports.”

Emory’s ranking benefited from two national championships (men’s and women’s tennis), six Top 10 finishes at the NCAA nationals and nine Top 20 finishes. Of Emory’s 18 varsity teams, 12 qualified or were selected for their respective national championship.

But it was not all play and no work for Emory student-athletes: For example, the national championship tennis teams compiled team grade point averages of 3.60 (women) and 3.38 (men) for the past spring semester.

“I am delighted by the extraordinarily strong showing of our athletes this past year, and I believe that their championship form, in both the sports they play and the courses they take, should serve as an inspiring example of what all American students should strive to do: respect both the athletic and the intellectual challenges they are offered when they come to college,” President Bill Chace said. “Emory students have done that, and we bask in their glory.”

Emory finished fifth in the 2002 Directors’ Cup standings, fourth in 2001, 14th in 2000, 22nd in 1999, 14th in 1998, fourth in 1997 and seventh in 1996, the first year that standings were compiled for Div. III schools.

Emory is one of seven schools in the nation in any division—others include Duke, Stanford and Notre Dame—to place in the Top 20 in both the NACDA Directors’ Cup standings (second) and the latest annual U.S. News and World Report rankings of best national universities (18th).