June 27, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- On the strength of strong performances from several spring sports, UAB's athletics program turned in its highest finish in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings since the 1999-2000 campaign.
The Blazers finished No. 122, according to the announcement this week by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). UAB's point total (145.0) is its second-highest since the Director's Cup standings began being kept in 1993-94.
A total of 277 NCAA Division I institutions scored points in the standings, while nearly 350 schools comprise the division.
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between NACDA and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's NCAA finishes in up to 20 sports - 10 women's and 10 men's.
UAB had three sports (baseball, softball and men's golf) score points during the spring. Coach Brian Shoop's Blazer baseball team earned 25 points with its first trip to the NCAA Championship since the 1991 season, participating in the Tallahassee Regional after winning the Conference USA Tournament title at Pearl, Miss.
The UAB softball team also gained 25 points in the Cup Standings as it gained a berth in the NCAA Championship for the third consecutive year as coach Marla Townsend's squad finished with a record of 37-22 and 17-7 in league play.
The Blazer men's golf team placed third at the NCAA Stanford Regional to punch its ticket for the NCAA Nationals at Los Angeles. Alan Kaufman's golfers earned 45 points in the standings.
UAB's men's soccer team accounted for the Blazers' other points as coach Mike Getman's squad earned the soccer program's sixth NCAA Tournament appearance last fall. The Blazers garnered a No. 11 overall seed at the national tournament and tied for 17th place in the Learfield standing, claiming 50 points.
UAB finished sixth among Conference USA schools but only one point from fourth place. UCF, Tulsa and SMU were the top three finishers in C-USA. Memphis had 146 points for fourth among league schools, while Houston had 145.50 to the Blazers' 145 total. Southern Miss and East Carolina were just behind UAB.
Stanford won its 18th straight Director's Cup this year.