AZUSA, Calif. -- With an additional 70-point boost from the fifth-place finish from women’s basketball, Azusa Pacific retained the lead in the 2011-12 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup final winter standings, which were released Thursday.
The Cougars were one of nine NAIA programs that produced over 300 Directors’ Cup points during the winter championship season, which included national championship events in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, and men’s wrestling. Azusa Pacific scored 314 points this winter to bring its full-year point total to 673, giving it a 129-point margin over second-place Oklahoma Baptist entering the spring.
In the entire 16-year history of the program at the NAIA level, the eventual Directors’ Cup champion was either leading or in second place at this point of the year, and Azusa Pacific has held the lead in the final winter standings in six of the past seven years en route to an NAIA-record seven consecutive Directors’ Cup trophies.
The 129-point margin is the Cougars’ second-largest at this point since 2004-05, the year Azusa Pacific won its first Directors’ Cup award. The largest lead and point total for Azusa Pacific following the winter championship season was last year, with 691.5 points and a 192-point lead over Lindenwood.
The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup program awards points based on an institution’s finish in up to 12 NAIA championship sports (six women’s and six men’s). The next set of standings will conclude the winter championship season and will include points for the men’s and women’s basketball championships. The final winter standings will be announced on Thursday, March 22.