Sparked by three national championships won in the closing weeks of the academic year, the University of Florida athletic program finished third in the 2016-17 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings that were released Thursday.
UF’s overpowering finish was highlighted by national titles in women’s tennis, men’s outdoor track and field and baseball.
Overall, the Gators had 13 teams that finished among the top10 in the nation, with 10 finishing in the top five.
“Our department was able to celebrate throughout this entire year because of the effort and competitiveness exhibited by Gator student-athletes and coaches,” UF athletic director Scott Stricklin said. “Having the opportunity to achieve at the highest level, against the very best competition, at one of the nation’s top public universities, is why people come to the University of Florida. As our fans often remind us, it’s great to be a Florida Gator.”
This is UF’s ninth consecutive top-five finish in the all-sports rankings. Florida is the only program to finish among the nation’s top 10 in each of the last 34 years.
The Director’s Cup is presented annually by the nation’s athletics directors. It recognizes the schools with the best overall sports performances in an academic year. Points are awarded based on finishes and participation in 20 NCAA Division I sports.
Florida closed with 1,252.50 points to finish third behind Stanford (1,563.00) and Ohio State (1,343.75). The other schools in the top 10 are Southern Cal, North Carolina, Michigan, Texas, Penn State, Oregon and Kentucky.
The Gators won their three national championships in the final 36 days of the season. UF has now won 18 national titles since the 2008-09 academic year.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or email@example.com. Also check out Andreu’s blog at Gatorsports.com.