AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific padded its lead to an NAIA fall-record 94 points in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup final fall standings announced today. The Cougars, who are pursuing an NAIA-record eighth consecutive Directors' Cup, received a 60-point boost to last week's fall standings update with the inclusion of the program's fifth-place football finish.
The Cougars' final fall total stands at 359 points, which is the program's best fall since scoring 392 points in the fall of 2006, and it's the fourth-best fall tally by an NAIA program since the award's inception in 1995.
"The Directors' Cup is truly a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes, coaches, and community," said first-year Director of Athletics Gary Pine. "Our success on the field this fall was exciting, but I'm even more thrilled that all six fall sports also produced champions in the classroom with 16 total NAIA Scholar-Athlete award winners."
The Cougars placed in five of the six fall championships: women’s cross country – second; women’s soccer – third; football and volleyball – fifth; men’s soccer – ninth, for 359 total points. Cal State San Marcos is in second place with 265 total points, and Concordia (Ore.) sits in third place with 217 total points. Rounding out the top five are Embry-Riddle (Fla.) with 212 points, and Lee (Tenn.) with 203 points. Five other schools from the Golden State Athletic Conference are in the top-25 (Biola, Westmont, Point Loma Nazarene, The Master's, and Concordia).
The 94-point spread between first and second place is the largest lead ever for an NAIA school, beating out the previous record of 86 points which was set in 2008 by Azusa Pacific. The six largest leads in the final fall standings of the award's history are all held by the Cougars during the program's current streak of seven consecutive Directors' Cup titles.
Azusa Pacific has been in the top three of the final fall Directors' Cup standings 14 consecutive years, registering first or second at this point for 10 straight years.