The Learfield Sports 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 18 sports -- nine women's and nine men's.
It was a tremendously successful year for Springfield College Athletics. Bolstered by an NCAA Championship in men's volleyball, Springfield totaled points throughout the year thanks to several teams and individuals competing in the NCAA Championships. The women's soccer, men's soccer, women's volleyball, men's volleyball, women's lacrosse, and men's lacrosse teams all competed on the national level, as did individuals from the men's diving, women's swimming and diving, men's track and field, women's track and field, men's cross country and wrestling teams. Springfield improved 14 spots from a year ago when it finished 35th in the Directors' Cup standings.
The Pride recorded 547.25 points throughout the year, 201 of which came in the spring season. The Pride racked up 148 points in the fall and tacked on 198.25 points during the winter.
Middlebury claimed the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup title, breaking Williams College's 13-year run as the top-ranked Division III athletic program. Washington University took second, followed by Williams, Amherst, and Wisconsin Whitewater. Emory, Tufts, St. Thomas, Johns Hopkins, and Cortland State rounded out the top 10.
Including Springfield, seven schools from New England were ranked in the top 21 in the country, with New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) rival MIT taking 11th and Bowdoin placing 16th.