MEDFORD – For the eighth straight year and 11th time overall, the Tufts University varsity athletics program finished in the top 10 of the Learfield IMG Directors’ Cup standings with their seventh-place ranking for 2018-19.
The Learfield Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's NCAA finish in up to 18 sports -- nine women's and nine men's.
Announced today, the final standings were updated following the conclusion of the spring sports season which included results for baseball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, women’s rowing, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track & field, men’s volleyball and women’s water polo. Tufts does not field varsity teams in women's golf, men’s volleyball or women’s water polo.
A total of 15 Jumbo teams scored Directors' Cup points for their performances in NCAA events during 2018-19. This spring, baseball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball, women’s tennis and men’s outdoor track & field scored for Tufts. Women's basketball, men's and women’s swimming & diving and women's indoor track & field were winter teams who contributed to the Directors' Cup total. For the fall, when the most points were scored, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey and men’s and women’s soccer qualified for NCAA competition.
Tufts’ three-season total in the Director’s Cup was 884.33, almost 100 more than last year (787.50). They scored 326 in the fall when five teams qualified, 204.83 in the winter (four teams) and 326 in the spring (six teams). The Jumbos edged conference rival the Amherst College Mammoths (879.25) in the standings.
For the spring season, head coach Courtney Shute’s women’s lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA “Final Four” and contributed 83 points to the Directors’ Cup score. Head coach Casey D’Annolfo’s men’s lacrosse team played into the NCAA Quarterfinals scoring 73 fifth-place Cup points. Baseball, led by head coach John Casey, and head coach Lauren Ebstein’s softball team both reached the NCAA Regional final for 17th-place points (50). In women’s tennis, head coach Kate Bayard’s squad was also an NCAA Regional finalist which awarded ninth-place points (64) in that sport. The men’s outdoor track & field team guided by Joel Williams added six points after placing 64th as a team at the national championship meet.
Leading the Directors’ Cup finish overall, from the fall 2018 season, was head coach Josh Shapiro's NCAA championship-winning men's soccer team. They scored a perfect 100 points for capturing the national title. Field hockey, coached by Tina Mattera, advanced to the NCAA Final and scored 90 Directors' Cup points. Women's cross country coached by Kristen Morwick had another good showing (12th) at the NCAA race and added 64.5 points. Head coach Martha Whiting and the women's soccer team returned to the NCAA Tournament and won a first-round game which secured 50 points for the Jumbos. Men's cross country rallied to earn an NCAA spot and picked up 49 points after Williams' team's 25th-place showing at Nationals.
In the winter, head coach Carla Berube's women's basketball team earned 73 fifth-place points for advancing to the Elite Eight. The men's swimming & diving team, coached by Adam Hoyt, also finished among the top 10 in 10th place at their NCAA meet for 67.5 points. Women's swimming & diving, also led by Coach Hoyt, had its best finish at NCAA's since 1990 in 16th place to score 58.5 points. Morwick's women's indoor track & field team contributed 5.83 points with their 64th-place at NCAA's.
In addition to the Jumbo program’s eight straight top 10 finishes (2012-19), they also have nine overall since 2010 and 11 total since the Directors' Cup started in 1995-96. The Jumbos’ 2016-17 third-place finish overall improved upon 2015-16’s fourth-place showing as Tufts' best in program history. The Jumbos finished eighth last year and had sixth-place showings in 2005-06 and 2009-10.