Gophers finish 18th in Directors’ Cup standings

July 5, 2016
An M flag waving

For the first time in six years, Gopher Athletics earned a spot among the nation’s 20 best programs in the final standings for the Learfield Directors' Cup. The annual competition recognizes athletic departments for success across the entire portfolio of sports they offer. Minnesota finished 18th nationally and third among Big Ten schools in the final 2015-16 standings with 891.75 points. Minnesota’s last top-20 showing came in 2009-2010.

Minnesota began the year with a strong fall season, scoring points in five sports and posting the seventh-highest point total in the country and the second-best in the Big Ten. Volleyball’s run to the Final Four scored 83 points, the most of any Gopher team in the fall season. Football, soccer, and men’s and women’s cross country also earned points.

The Gophers did most of their damage in the winter season, when they scored 429.25 points, the fifth-best total in the country for winter sports. The national champion women’s hockey team provided 100 points—the most for any Gopher program this year—while six other programs (men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s indoor track and field, and wrestling) all contributed to the strong winter results.

Points in the spring season from baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field helped Minnesota seal the top-20 finish. Stanford won this year’s Directors' Cup, followed in the standings by Ohio State, Michigan, Southern Cal and Florida.