The Ferris State University Athletics Department placed 32nd overall nationally with 391.25 total points in the 2008-09 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Division II final standings.
The 2008-09 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup winners were announced recently at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics' (NACDA) 44th Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla. Grand Valley State University captured its sixth consecutive Learfield Sports Directors' Cup for NCAA Division II with 1014.50 points while Minnesota State totaled 800.25 points to place second and Central Missouri garnered third place with a 766.0 points total.
Developed as a joint effort between USA TODAY and NACDA, the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup program is the only all-sports competition that recognizes the institution in each of the four categories (NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA) with the best overall athletics program. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 14 sports -- seven women's and seven men's.
The Bulldogs, who placed sixth in the 2008-09 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Presidents' Trophy Final Standings with 85 points, were among five GLIAC-member schools to rank among the top 35. Besides Ferris and Grand Valley State, Ashland claimed sixth place (613.75 pts.), Wayne State was 11th (499.0 pts.), and Findlay posted a 19th-place finish (447.50 pts.). The GLIAC was the only league in the country to both place four teams among the top 20 and five in the top 35 overall.
The Division II listing included 234 schools that recorded at least a single point during the 2008-09 athletics season. FSU used a strong spring season to move into the nation's top 35 performers after concluding the winter campaign listed 102nd overall in the standings. Ferris recorded 291.25 points during the spring season after scoring 40 points in the fall and 60 points for the winter period, respectively.
Ferris State's points were generated by the following athletics teams: women's golf (sixth place-72.75 points), men's golf (eighth place-70.5 points), softball (17th place-50 points), men's tennis (17th place-50 points), women's outdoor track and field (25th place-48 points), women's cross country (17th place-40 points), men's indoor track and field (36th place-31 points) and women's indoor track and field (43rd place-29 points).
This year represents the fourth time in the last five years the Bulldogs have placed among the top 35 schools nationally. The highest-placing ever for Ferris State was in the 2004-05 season when the Bulldogs finished in 21st place with 387.5 total points. Additionally, Ferris' 391.25 total points this year is the second-best figure in school history following its 414.50 points in 2006-07 when FSU finished 28th nationally. In all, the Bulldogs have placed in the top 40 eight times over the last 14 years.
"This a tremendous accomplishment for our entire athletics staff to finish among the nation's top 35 programs," said FSU Athletics Director Tom Kirinovic. "Combining this with our academic success should make all Ferris State supporters proud of the balance that we provide both academically and athletically.
"I congratulate our athletics department staff in finding a way to both maximize the resources we have available in recruiting top-notch student-athletes along with using their coaching expertise to make these honors possible," Kirinovic added.
Learfield Sports, a leader in the collegiate sports marketplace for almost four decades, manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for nearly 50 collegiate institutions. The Dallas-based company also manages corporate partner programs for the Big Ten Conference and the Western Athletic Conference and secures marketing partnerships for the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA). Learfield Sports (learfieldsports.com) is an operating unit of Jefferson City, Mo.-based Learfield Communications, Inc., which made its initial foray into the world of sports marketing in 1975 as the radio rights holder for the University of Missouri, a client still today. The 2008-09 winners in the other three divisions were Stanford University in Division I, Williams College (Mass.) in Division III and Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) in NAIA.
Complete standings and the scoring structure can be found on NACDA's Web site at www.nacda.com.
Ferris State's finishes in the Directors' Cup (last 14 years)
Year - Place - Points
1995-96 -- 68thT -- 98.0
1996-97 -- 64thT -- 8.5
1997-98 -- 34thT -- 140.0
1998-99 -- 45thT -- 110.0
1999-00 -- 53rd -- 180.0
2000-01 -- 37th -- 265.5
2001-02 -- 36thT -- 259.5
2002-03 -- 37th -- 317.5
2003-04 -- 45th -- 285.0
2004-05 -- 21st -- 387.5
2005-06 -- 35th -- 316.0
2006-07 -- 28th -- 414.5
2007-08 -- T60th -- 282.0
2008-09 -- 32nd -- 391.25