ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The award bears a different title, but the bottom line hasn’t changed.
The National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) presented Azusa Pacific with the 2012-13 Presidential Award for Excellence Friday night during the Hall of Fame Banquet at the NCCAA Annual Convention hosted by Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minn., honoring Cougar Athletics as the organization’s top overall athletics program based on performance in NCCAA national championship competition.
“It’s very satisfying to return to the NCCAA this year and earn the association’s Presidential Award for Excellence,” said Azusa Pacific Director of Athletics Gary Pine. “As a university, we strive for excellence in all that we do, for we believe excellence honors and praises God. We’re proud to be members of the NCCAA, and we’re honored to carry its banner.”
Azusa Pacific, which won the Directors’ Cup in each of its final eight years of membership (2005-12) in the NAIA, adds the NCCAA Presidential Award for Excellence to run its streak of winning the top overall honor within its championship affiliation to nine consecutive years.
The Cougars won five NCCAA national championships this year, claiming three national titles during the spring (men’s tennis, women’s outdoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field) to go with the women’s cross country and men’s indoor track and field championships won earlier in the year.
The point system for the award starts with 12 points for a national championship, down to a single point for an eighth-place national finish. Azusa Pacific registered a third-place finish in women’s tennis and sixth place in men’s cross country to total 80 points in the final standings, finishing five points ahead of Shorter (Ga.), which claimed second with 75 points. California Baptist (59 points), McMurry (53 points), and Oklahoma Christian (49 points) rounded out the top-five.