GREENVILLE, S.C. -- In a run of unprecedented success, the Azusa Pacific athletics program continued its streak of being recognized as one of the top college athletics programs in the country.
For the second straight year the Cougars earned the National Christian College Athletics Association (NCCAA) 2013-14 Presidential Award For Excellence, honoring Azusa Pacific Athletics as the organization’s top overall athletics program based on performance in NCCAA national championship competition.
“I’m very proud of what our coaches and student athletes have accomplished in earning the association’s Presidential Award for Excellence. We’ve been focused on our transition into the NCAA and even with that our teams haven’t dropped their level of play,” said Azusa Pacific Director of Athletics Gary Pine. “We strive for excellence in everything we do, and everything is geared towards honoring God.”
Azusa Pacific, which claimed 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 earning the top overall honor within its championship affiliation to 10 straight years.
The Cougars won three NCCAA national championships this year, and had four runner-up finishes. The fall season produced two championships, with men’s cross country claiming the first title of the year. Women’s soccer followed that up with a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory against Dallas Baptist in the final, giving the Cougars the program’s second national championship. Men’s tennis rounded out Azusa Pacific’s champions with its second straight NCCAA crown earlier this spring.
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 second-place finishes in volleyball, women’s cross country, women’s outdoor track & field, and women’s tennis. The Cougars also posted third place finishes in men’s indoor and outdoor track & field and women’s basketball to total 103 points in the final standings, finishing 17 points ahead of Shorter (Ga.), which claimed second with 86 points. Lee (49.5 points), Roberts Wesleyan (46 points), and Dallas Baptist (45 points) rounded out the top-five.